Los Angeles

Designing and Building Competitive Hybrid Cars




EcoCAR 3 is an advanced plug-in hybrid vehicle design-and-build competition that prepares the next generation of advanced automotive engineers and professionals. It challenges 16 North American universities to redesign stock 2016 gasoline Chevrolet Camaros into clean hybrid vehicles. An 80-person team of Cal State LA students—the only team representing California in this competition—is designing a police-themed plug-in hybrid.

The competition is sponsored by the Department of Energy, General Motors, the National Science Foundation, and California Air Resources Board, and is managed by Argonne National Laboratory. The team is sponsored by Cal State LA, La Kretz Foundation, SCAQMD, and local industry.

The technical disciplines are represented by students from electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, and computer science. The team receives advanced training from GM and other industry partners on modern vehicle design and development, which gives them an edge in securing employment; thanks to their participation in the EcoCAR2 competition, six students have been recently employed at General Motors.

“Through the EcoCAR program I have been exposed to the very same tools and procedures that are used in the automotive industry,” says Christopher Reid, a GM engineer and former student team lead. “Because of this I was able to get a job at General Motors and jump right into an engineering job without any issue.”