300% More Efficient Saturn Vue Wins EcoCAR Challenge

2009 EcoCAR Vue

Jorge Chapa from Inhabitat.com: Ohio State University recently took top honors in the 2009 EcoCAR Competition, which challenged students across the US and Canada to redesign a standard Saturn Vue into an ultra-efficient vehicle. Their winning EcoCAR utilizes a lithium battery and an ethanol-fueled engine to achieve an incredible 300% increase in fuel efficiency over its standard model counterpart! The vehicle took plenty of man hours, good design and well-honed math skills, but the end result proves that future-forward vehicles can be built with the technology of today. The Ohio State University vehicle is an EREV powered by a 1.85 liter engine fueled by E85 ethanol, with lithium ion battery technology and plug-in capability.

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The Saturn of 2008 is not quite what Roger Smith, a former GM chairman, had in mind when he launched the brand in 1985 with the promise of "a different kind of company, a different kind of car." GM initially hoped to encourage fresh thinking at its newest brand by giving Saturn more autonomy than such GM stalwarts as Chevrolet, Buick and Cadillac.