Schools compete to build economic hybrid

EcoCAR2 is 3-year competition sponsored by GM

SAN DIEGO - Some of the brightest young minds in America showed off their engineering skills in San Diego Thursday.

Teams representing 15 North American universities are participating in the EcoCAR2 competition, which is sponsored by General Motors and the U.S. Department of Energy.

The three-year competition asks teams to take a standard Chevrolet Malibu and turn it into a plug-in hybrid.

Winners get prize money and bragging rights. However, the real prize is a job offer, as the EcoCAR2 is a breeding ground for future automotive and engineering employees.

"It's the real world experience that we're getting," said Courtney Smith from California State University Los Angeles.

The teams are only two years into the three-year competition.

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