Winter Workshop in Daytona Beach

Seven members of the team are currently in Daytona Beach, Florida attending the Winter Workshop. The trip got off to a bit of a rocky start when one of our vans died on us before leaving Madison but after we got a replacement, the drive was fine (long, but no problems to report).

Today the controls team is getting some help from National Instruments at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University to refine the HIL. So far they have been able to work some of the bugs out of the system and they will continue to work this afternoon to get it ready for tomorrow’s judging.

The next few days will include presentations, outreach and HIL judging, demonstrations, meeting the sponsors and a lot of fun activities. At the end of the workshop we’ll go home knowing more details about competition in the spring so we will be able to get our car all ready to go.

There are a few pictures of our tip in the Picture Gallery and there will be more soon so be sure to check them out!

UW Hybrid Team Shows Off New Paint Design at Quaker Steak and Lube

EcoCAR on display at Quaker Steak & Lube

Fresh out of the Kelly Moss Motorsports garage, UW Hybrid Vehicle Team revealed the EcoCAR’s brand new paint design to community members last Saturday at an event held at Quaker Steak and Lube in Middleton, Wisconsin. The team’s EV1 vehicle and the Bucky Wagon also came along for the ride.

Formally a generic shade of tan, the EcoCAR is now coated in red, white and black. The colors matched the shirts worn by a dozen team members at the event, creating a sea of Badger pride throughout the restaurant.

Kelly Moss Motorsports general manager Price Cobb, bodyshop manager Gary Kuehn and body shop staff worker Justin Beach dropped by to say hello and see the vehicle outside of the shop.

“I think it’s really cool that Kelly Moss is here,” says senior Mechanical Engineering student Stacey Ley. “They put a lot of their time and resources, free of charge, into this project and our team is very thankful to them for that.”

After three weeks and many hours at Kelly Moss Motorsports, the team is excited to have the EcoCAR back ready for work.

“The next step for us is to turn this rolling chassis into a fully functional hybrid electric vehicle,” says team leader and senior Electrical Engineering student Adam Richards. “There is a lot of work ahead of us, but we will be building on a great foundation.”

Richards says the entire team is excited about the way the vehicle turned out and is very proud to be able to showcase it at Quaker Steak and Lube.

Dan Grice talks to a community member about hybrid technology
Dan Grice talks to a community member about hybrid technology

Team members popped the hood and answered questions as many Quaker Steak and Lube lunch-goers stopped to ask about the EcoCAR.

“It went very well,” says Quaker Steak and Lube owner Scott Acker. “I am happy with the amount of people that came and were interested.”

Acker adds it’s great to get some new faces in the door, like a reporter from the Sustainable Times.

Controls team member and senior Electrical Engineering student Ray Uhen says he was very excited to show off the vehicle’s new paint and meet directly with people of all ages interested in the project.

“There were many little kids that wanted to know about all the knobs and do- hickeys,” he says. “And it’s great that their parents want to show them what types of things they can accomplish in college.”

Many people also asked questions about the automotive industry, according to Uhen.

“I was asked a lot of questions like ‘if we have this technology available, why is it not seen?’,” Uhen says. “I tell them that at this point, our research and development is not cost-effective for full production.”

Ray Uhen shows a family under the EcoCAR's hood
Ray Uhen shows a family under the EcoCAR's hood

Uhen’s favorite part of the event?

“The food was awesome,” he says. “You can never say no to wings!”

EcoCAR to Visit Quaker Steak and Lube

This Saturday, hybrid vehicle team members will showcase the EcoCAR at Quaker Steak and Lube in Middleton, Wisconsin. The team will talk with the public about hybrid technologies and the EcoCAR competition. See below for more info.

What better way to prepare for the Badgers-Hawaii football game than chicken wings and the Bucky Wagon?

The University of Wisconsin-Madison hybrid vehicle team will be on hand at motorsports-themed Middleton restaurant Quaker Steak & Lube Saturday, Dec. 5 from 11-3 p.m. to showcase two hybrid vehicle projects, the Bucky Wagon and the EcoCAR. Bring your hybrid questions and interact with faculty and students while surveying the vehicles.

The Bucky Wagon is an iconic UW-Madison symbol that carries Badger spirit across campus and throughout Madison on football Saturdays and for each year’s Homecoming festivities and parade. It is currently in transition to the 21st century as a safe, electric-powered vehicle with power hydraulic brakes and power steering.

The EcoCAR project is part of a General Motors and U.S. Department of Energy-sponsored competition, which challenges 17 North American universities to reduce fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. Over the next two years, the team will engineer a hybrid SUV to a plug-in hybrid capable of 20 miles of electric range before the engine is turned-on allowing longer trips on conventional fuels..

“This event will be a good opportunity for community members to learn about our vehicle team program and how they can get involved, as well as talk with our students about the importance of hybrid technologies in general,” Bower says. “We’re excited to do this at Quaker Steak & Lube because we’ve had a relationship with the restaurant for years–they currently have three of our past vehicles which would have otherwise been dismantled hanging from their ceiling. We think this is pretty amazing!”

Media and the public are invited to join the UW hybrid team at Quaker Steak and Lube, 2259 Deming Way, Middleton. For more information about the UW-Madison vehicle teams contact team leader Adam Richards, (608) 408-0664, advisor Glenn Bower, (608) 263-7252, or visit

—Andrea Parins, EcoCAR Outreach Coordinator, (920) 327-0697,

Hybrid Team Paints the Town Red–and Black and White

The team is in high spirits anticipating the vehicle’s new paint job. There has been much to do in the shop lately to properly prepare for painting–the key to success in painting a vehicle is proper preparation.  Now, in the final week of the schedule for painting, the team has been working many hours at Kelly Moss Motorsports, which has graciously donated its after-hours shop time to help facilitate the process.

In the first week, the team completed the tear-down.  This involved careful disassembly and storage of drive train parts. The team made sure to label everything and document the process so that the critical parts can be reassembled more easily. Everything on the vehicle exterior that was not going to be painted was removed as well.  The team got a tutorial from shop manager Gary Kuehn on wet sanding a vehicle, which is critical to insure proper paint adhesion.  Wet sanding is a bit messy but results in a smooth flat finish that will readily accept automotive primer and paint.

Check out our disassembly video–two days flash before your eyes as you watch from the Garage Cam, which shoots still-photos every 30 seconds.

The second week of the painting process included the final masking and cleaning. Members of the team volunteered their time over the Thanksgiving holiday break working in the shop to make sure dust left over from the wet sanding process was cleaned off and to tape off and mask the windows and trim. After many hours of preparation, the actual painting takes very little time.

The MadCow is expected to be back in the shop Dec 4th!