Each team has re-engineered a Chevy Equinox with a range of hybrid, plug-in or fuel cell propulsion systems, powered by alternative fuels such as biodiesel, ethanol and hydrogen.
Since the competition began in 2004, GM has hired more than 50 students from the program. "Challenge X has prepared me for an exciting automotive career," said David Oglesby, student team leader of Mississippi State University, which won the Year Three competition in 2007. "It's a unique program that provided me with hands-on training that will give me an advantage in the job market."
Cindy Svestka, GM powertrain engineering manager and Challenge X graduate, also has praise for the program. "When we hire a Challenge X student, we know that we are getting a top-notch engineer with great experience and strong knowledge of our vehicle development process," she said. "It's a win-win for both the student and the automaker."
Ed Wall, the U.S. Department of Energy's manager of the Vehicle Technologies Program, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, hopes the competition will create greater awareness of alternative fuels. "This competition focuses on advanced technology that promotes energy security and economic growth," he said.
"Challenge X demonstrates how government, industry and academia are working together to develop creative approaches and solutions to decreasing energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions in some of America's most popular vehicles."
Additional information is available on the Web at www. challengex.org.