14 Ethanol Vehicle Teams to Vie in '99 Event

vehicle.gif (6935 bytes) Fourteen university engineering student teams, including a team of 30 students from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, will convert a full-sized, gasoline-powered General Motors pickup to run on a blend of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline. The Nebraska team will compete for the second straight year.

The goals of the competition are to increase fuel efficiency and reduce emissions without sacrificing performance and consumer appeal, said Bill Wiens, sponsor of the University of Nebraska team.

The teams will spend six months adapting their trucks to run on E85, as 85 percent ethanol is called. In May, the teams will meet in Detroit for seven days of rigorous testing that will include exhaust emissions, fuel economy, acceleration, driveability, handling, range and cold and hot start performance. Winning teams will receive cash awards.

Regionally, teams from schools in Kansas, Minnesota, Illinois and Iowa are also competing. The national sponsors of the 1999 Vehicle Challenge are the U.S. Department of Energy, General Motors, the state of Nebraska and seven others including the 22-member Governors' Ethanol Coalition. For more information about the Vehicle Challenge, contact Bill Weins at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln at 402-472-3088.

Return to the Winter 1999 Newsletter