1990-1993 Natural Gas Vehicle Challenge
The Natural Gas Vehicle Challenge (1990-1993) was conducted annually which gave teams the opportunity to go back to the drawing board twice to improve the vehicle in areas believed to be lacking. In 1993, twenty-two colleges and universities from the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, including five new entries, converted a GMC 2500 Sierra truck to run on dedicated natural gas. The teams underwent rigorous testing of emissions, fuel economy, performance, driveability, as well as judging by industry experts. In 1991, only three teams earned points in the emissions event whereas in 1993 eleven teams met or exceeded the current federal emissions standards. Seven teams did better than CARB TLEV emissions standards, and three teams met the CARB ULEV standards. The University of Texas – El Paso vehicle (a first year entry) tested less than one half of the ULEV standard. The average EPA combined fuel economy (from both the city and hwy. tests) went from 12.7 mpg in 1991 to 13.6 mpg in 1992 to 14.82 mpg in 1993; a steady, and impressive progression.
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