This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

March 24, 2004

DOE and Ford Motor Company Host the SUVs of the Future

Photo of Spencer Abraham, Bruce Billian, and David Garman with FutureTruck entries in the background.

Bruce Billian from Virginia Tech addresses attendees to the FutureTruck event as Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham (left) and David Garman (right), Assistant Secretary of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, look on.
Credit: FutureTruck

Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham and the Ford Motor Company hosted seven student-designed, energy-efficient sport utility vehicles (SUVs) at an event in Washington, D.C., on March 24th as part of FutureTruck 2004, an engineering competition. The FutureTruck competition challenges 15 teams of university engineering students to reengineer Ford Explorers to achieve lower emissions and a 25 percent increase in fuel economy, without sacrificing performance, utility, or safety. This year's teams have all converted their Explorers to hybrid-electric vehicles, and two teams have modified the engines to run on hydrogen fuel. The competition will conclude in June at Ford's Michigan Proving Ground. See the DOE press release and the FutureTruck Web site.

While university teams are gearing up for the FutureTruck competition, 14 U.S. and Canadian university teams have just finished the Clean Snowmobile Challenge, sponsored by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE). The winning team, from the University of Wisconsin at Madison, developed a hybrid electric snowmobile for the event. The competition challenges engineering students to reduce the noise and emissions of a snowmobile while maintaining or improving its performance. See the SAE announcement and Clean Snowmobile Challenge Web site.