Government of Canada

Government of Canada

June 23, 2011 14:32 ET

Canadian Team Places Third in Green Vehicle Competition

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 23, 2011) - The University of Waterloo (UoW) is in the driver's seat when it comes to designing and building vehicles that are more fuel efficient and better for the environment. The university finished in third place in the 2011 EcoCAR: The NeXt Challenge finals in Washington, D.C., last week and was one of 16 universities across North America that competed in the student vehicle competition. EcoCAR challenges participating students to re-engineer a General Motors-donated vehicle to minimize the vehicle's fuel consumption and emissions, while maintaining its utility, safety and performance.

"Congratulations to the University of Waterloo. It is this kind of innovative thinking that will lead to cleaner and more efficient vehicles in the future," said the Honourable Joe Oliver, Minister of Natural Resources. "By supporting competitions like this, the Government of Canada is helping to advance clean energy and protect our environment for future generations."

The competition began in 2009 and had three phases. In the first year, the teams used General Motors' process to design their vehicle; in the second and third years, they built and tested their prototypes; and at the end of the third year, their vehicles competed against those of the other teams in a week of engineering tests. Of the 16 teams three were Canadian — University of Waterloo, University of Victoria and the University of Ontario Institute for Technology.

"Innovation is a very important aspect of the transportation system's efficiency and sustainability," said the Honourable Denis Lebel, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities. "The Government of Canada is pleased to be part of initiatives that help develop tomorrow's workforce in specialized sectors."

EcoCAR was led by the U.S. Department of Energy and General Motors and run by Argonne National Laboratory. Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) and Transport Canada jointly contributed a total of $500,000 to the program over three years. NRCan has been a sponsor of various student engineering competitions since 1989, part of its broader commitment to encourage the accelerated development and market-readiness of technology solutions in clean energy.

FOR BROADCAST USE:

The Honourable Joe Oliver, Minister of Natural Resources, and the Honourable Denis Lebel, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, today congratulated the University of Waterloo for placing third in the 2011 EcoCAR: The NeXt Challenge finals in Washington, D.C. The university was one of 16 universities across North America competing in the student competition.

NRCan's news releases and backgrounders are available at www.nrcan.gc.ca/media.

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