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!

Our own Zach Ward in the River Falls Journal

According to Zack Ward of River Falls, the auto industry and the United States need to push for better fuel economy.

As a means to that end, Ward and about 40 of his engineering school teammates at UW-Madison are taking part in a three-year competition called “EcoCAR.”

In early October the team received a GM-donated car with the goal of converting it into an extended-range parallel hybrid vehicle. The students are taking part in the GM- and U.S. Department of Energy-sponsored challenge, where 17 North American will work at reducing fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions during the next two years.

“I believe the auto industry needs to push for better fuel economy and that America will be pushing for better fuel economy the more the price of gas rises and become instable,” began Ward, when asked the importance of the university’s project. “Using less oil is good for both our country and the environment. Hybrid vehicles are a great way to save gas, especially in city driving environments where hybrid technologies optimize the use of energy.

Read the rest this article.

Waubonsie Grad Leads Hybrid Team

Check out our team leader, Adam Richards, in the Naperville Sun.

University of Wisconsin-Madison engineering students — including Waubonsie Valley High School graduate Adam Richards — recently received a GM-donated car to convert into an extended-range parallel hybrid vehicle.

The students are participating in a GM- and U.S. Department of Energy-sponsored competition called EcoCAR, which challenges 17 North American universities to reduce fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions in a vehicle during the next two years.

Richards, who is the hybrid team leader, said the experience of participating in the EcoCAR competition is valuable for students.

Read the rest of this article.

Motor City Road Trip Rally

Hauling five vehicles and eight people more than 400 miles is no simple feat, but when it comes to all things automotive, University of Wisconsin-Madison faculty and students will do whatever it takes.

A group of engineering students from the UW-Madison vehicle teams, led by mechanical engineering faculty associate Glenn Bower, headed to Detroit on Oct. 24 for the first-ever Motor City Badgers’ Road Trip Rally. The event aimed to inspire both the students visiting Detroit and the automotive industry members who met with the engineering talent of the future.

The Detroit chapter of the Wisconsin Alumni Association organized and hosted the event and launched a three-year $10 million endowment campaign. The endowment will take UW-Madison vehicle teams to the next level and ensure UW-Madison remains a source of innovative, well-trained engineers to the automotive industry for generations to come.

EV1 at Detroit Road Rally
EV1 at Detroit Road Rally

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