Why are groups of university students modifying Cadillac Lyriq EVs?

The competition provides a steady stream of experienced graduates to the auto industry.

Apr 20, 2024 - 16:50
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Why are groups of university students modifying Cadillac Lyriq EVs?
A Cadillac Lyriq EV

Enlarge / For the previous EcoCar 3 competition, student teams turned Camaro sportscars into hybrids. For the EcoCar EV challenge, their job is to improve on the Cadillac Lyriq. (credit: EcoCar)

Across the country, teams of students at 15 different universities are in the middle of a four-year project, dissecting an electric vehicle and figuring out ways to make it even better. The program, called the EcoCar EV Challenge, was founded more than three decades ago by the US Department of Energy and is run by the DOE's Argonne National Laboratory.

Over the last 35 years, more than 30,000 students from 95 universities have participated in the EcoCar Challenge, part of the DOE's Advanced Vehicle Technology Competition. Each segment spans four years, with the most recent cycle beginning in 2023 with a new Cadillac Lyriq donated by the General Motors automaker.

The students take this competition very seriously, as participation alone brings a lot of benefits, including the potential for a lifelong career path.

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