Michigan, Missouri: Innovative Mobile Exhibits Bring Electric Vehicles to Students and Public

Project Overview
Positive Impact: EERE supported education on electric drive vehicles for students.
Location: Michigan, Missouri
Partners: Michigan Technological University, Missouri University of Science and Technology, St. Louis Clean Cities Coalition
EERE Investment: $8 million
Clean Energy Sector: Sustainable transportationPDF

EERE has supported two innovative projects bringing hands-on education on electric drive vehicles to students. As part of a larger educational Recovery Act project, Michigan Technological University has built a full mobile laboratory inside of a tractor trailer that includes activities for students from elementary to graduate school. It contains simple, interactive outreach activities for public events, such as its participation in the USA Science and Engineering Festival. It is also fully equipped for undergraduate and graduate level classes, with lecture space, powertrain hardware-in-the-loop test cells, a chassis dynamometer, and other laboratory equipment. Through the mobile laboratory and the offered courses, students will gain valuable hands-on experience that will prepare them to improve and develop new plug-in electric vehicle technologies in the future.

Further, the St. Louis Science Center—in partnership with the Missouri University of Science and Technology’s larger Recovery Act project—has built EVie, a modified all-electric truck with solar panels and educational exhibits. The hands-on exhibits help students explore basic energy concepts, understand how batteries and electric vehicles work, and realize the benefits of advanced vehicle technologies. The truck exhibits at the center itself, as well as classrooms and events around the region. The St. Louis Clean Cities Coalition has collaborated with the museum to maximize the exhibit’s reach.

Through the Recovery Act, EERE also funded Michigan Technological University’s overall project for $2.98 million, which included curriculum development for undergraduate and graduate certificates and a program of study for a Master’s degree. EERE funded the Missouri University of Science and Technology Project for $5 million, which also included creating degree and certificate programs for community colleges, four-year undergraduates, technicians, trainers, and industry engineers. Both of these projects supported development of a workforce that can help create, build, and maintain advanced vehicle technologies that reduce U.S. carbon pollution and use of imported petroleum.

The Vehicle Technologies Office (VTO) develops and deploys efficient and environmentally friendly highway transportation technologies that will enable America to use less petroleum. These technologies will provide Americans with greater freedom of mobility and energy security, while lowering costs and reducing impacts on the environment.

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