I had the pleasure of spending part of the day with students at Penn State University (my alma mater so don't hold it against them) who are working on the EcoCAR 3 Challenge. The competition is sponsored by The Department of Energy and General Motors. www.ecocar3.org From their website: EcoCAR 3 is challenging 16 North American university teams to redesign a Chevrolet Camaro to reduce its environmental impact, while maintaining the muscle and performance expected from this iconic American car. The Advanced Vehicle Team at Penn State has undertaken the challenge of converting the Camaro into a hybrid. They received the car about a month ago(after wading though university and PA paperwork to register the car so they can actually begin to work on it); they already have it stripped and are awaiting parts to begin the rebuild. They have to get the car to Yuma AZ in May for a safety inspection for the competition. www.hev.psu.edu Fun and Interesting Things: They obtained the battery to power the hybrid from A123 Systems. Everyone in the competition gets the same battery. But it's about an 18kWh system, so it's only going to let the car go about 40 miles on a charge and it's not going to do much for the car's "pep", hence the need for a hybrid design. The first thing I thought of was the gigafactory and what an opportunity it could be to recycle some of the batteries that come into the facility while getting some nice publicity and helping out future competitions. The team chose an electric motor for their hybrid design produced by YASA Motors, which has some cred as they were used by a Pike's Peak electric car participant. Produced is a generous word for the current effort because they've had many issues actually getting the promised motor from the company and hope to have the part in time for the May review. You could feel the pain in our guide's voice as he explained the situation and what they are planning to do if the motor isn’t delivered in time. It was a fun way to spend some time on campus and I walked away with a deeper respect for the process the students are going through. I've got some pix but I have to figure out how to load them with the new site. I very much appreciated their time.