Challenge X: Crossover to Sustainable Mobility is a three-year collegiate engineering competition sponsored by the U.S. Department Energy’s (DOE’s) FreedomCAR and Vehicle Technologies Program and General Motors (GM) Corporaton. The competition, which runs from 2004 through 2007, offers college engineering students the opportunity to conduct hands-on research and development with leading-edge automotive propulsion, fuels, materials, and emissions control technologies.
During the three-year competition, 17 teams will re-engineer a GM crossover sport utility vehicle to minimize energy consumption, emissions, and greenhouse gases while maintaining or exceeding the vehicle’s utility and performance. Participating teams will be given extensive resources to help achieve their objectives, including substantial technical support and mentoring from GM and other sponsors. Each team will also receive $10,000 in seed money and is eligible to receive up to $25,000 in additional production parts from GM and considerable software and hardware donations from other sponsors. At the conclusion of each competition year, teams will come together to undergo extensive judging and evaluation of their work for the year.
Challenge X is the latest in a series of collegiate automotive engineering competitions sponsored by DOE, automotive manufacturers, and other automotive-related companies and managed by Argonne National Laboratory. The first of these competitions began in 1987. Competitions such as Challenge X provide students with valuable opportunities to test out their skills and interact with some of the nation’s best and brightest engineering minds. Many of the collegiate participants go on to careers in the automotive industry following graduation.
These competitions bring together a unique coalition of government and industry organizations seeking to eliminate technical and institutional barriers to acceptance of advanced vehicle technologies and alternative fuels. Automotive manufacturers, suppliers, fuel providers, and the educational community place a high value on the competitions — experts from the auto industry judge events, interact with students, and compare technologies. Industry contributions leverage federal funding for the competitions, making them an especially good investment for all the sponsors.