Motors of Canada Limited, Hydrogenics Corporation, and Natural Resources Canada announced today their combined support for a team of engineering students from the University of Waterloo in Challenge X. The Waterloo team is the only Canadian school to qualify to enter the North American competition to develop practical and economic clean energy technology for the automotive sector. Challenge X teams will follow GM’s Global Vehicle Development Process to create alternative solutions that will further improve the fuel economy and emissions of the Canadian designed and built 2005 Chevrolet Equinox, a compact SUV that already provides impressive fuel economy. The Waterloo team will be developing their vehicle using hydrogen fuel cell technology. “GM is committed to Challenge X and working with colleges and universities across the country to foster innovative thinking and practical engineering solutions,” said Maryann Combs, general director, engineering and product planning, General Motors of Canada Limited. “Challenge X teams will gain valuable experience in real-world engineering practices by using GM’s Global Vehicle Development Process.” “We are thrilled to be the only Canadian university team chosen to participate in Challenge X,” said David Johnston, president, University of Waterloo. “This competition will give students hands-on engineering experience that will make them highly valuable to the automotive and technology communities. But more than that, it broadens their perspective by providing all the dimensions of a commercial project including finance, modeling, design, manufacturing prototype and competition.” “Challenge X is an excellent opportunity for the engineers of tomorrow to gain valuable experience with hydrogen fuel cells, a cleaner technology that will help shape the future of transportation in North America,” said Tony Ianno, MP, Trinity-Spadina, on behalf of the Honourable R. John Efford, Minister of Natural Resources Canada. “With the expected remarkable growth in the hydrogen-related technologies, we’re pleased to be part of a partnership that will help develop technologies the world needs to respond to climate change and create new economic opportunities.” “We are pleased that the University of Waterloo Challenge X Team chose hydrogen fuel cell technology for its entry, and that they chose Hydrogenics as their fuel cell partner,” said Pierre Rivard, president and CEO, Hydrogenics. “Fuel cells are being introduced to several industries, including the automotive sector, to meet today’s clean energy priorities. Competitions like Challenge X will help to demonstrate how this kind of clean energy technology can be all about having more, instead of making do with less.” The University of Waterloo is one of 17 teams chosen to be a part of this program. Challenge X will launch in the 2004-2005 academic year in the U.S. and Canada as a three-year program. Participants in this program will closely adhere to current real-world automotive design and engineering practices. Manufactured at CAMI Automotive, the Chevrolet Equinox will be delivered to the university teams at the end of the first year of the project, to build upon the models and simulation efforts to bring the designs to life. The powertrains in the first year will be installed into vehicles in the second year, giving the teams a head start on the vehicle integration process. During the second and third years of Challenge X, the educational emphasis will be placed on validating the modeling and simulation tools in order to refine and improve these vehicles. The U.S. Department of Energy and General Motors are the headline sponsors of Challenge X, providing major funding, mentoring and product donations. Argonne National Laboratory, a Department of Energy Research and Development facility, will provide competition management, team evaluation and technical and logistical support.