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ACC and Mines Named BattChallenge Year One Champions

ACC Auto Tech students in ACC auto shop at the Littleton Campus with Battery Workforce Challenge logo

The Arapahoe Community College (ACC) and Colorado School of Mines team has been named as the Battery Workforce Challenge (BattChallenge) Year One champion.

The 3-year collegiate competition, which launched in the fall of 2023 and will continue through the spring of 2026, charges 12 university / technical school teams to design, build, test, and integrate an advanced electric vehicle battery pack into a Stellantis vehicle. The program is an immersive hands-on learning experience for students to gain critical battery design and integration experience while developing engineering and technical skills beyond traditional engineering curriculum.

Teams, which are collaborating to examine complex battery engineering and solve manufacturing challenges, were judged on the design of their electric vehicle battery pack in Year 1. The teams' focus spanned from the granular level of cell characterization and testing to the broader scope of pack-level design, encompassing thermal, mechanical, and electrical considerations, while upholding stringent safety standards. Second place was awarded to The Ohio State University / Columbus State Community College team, while The University of Alabama / Shelton State Community College team took third place.

Year 2 (2024-25) of the competition will be geared toward building and testing the battery pack. Students will make revisions and improvements to their Year One design and begin assembling the battery into their vehicle. Teams will receive a Ram ProMaster electric van from Stellantis for the remainder of the competition. The 2024 Ram ProMaster was introduced earlier this year and is designed specifically for electrification, featuring a unibody design that efficiently incorporates the production battery pack. The work van is suited to perform commercial activities, and this application serves as an opportunity for students to design batteries for larger vehicles.

In the final year of BattChallenge (2025-26), teams will integrate the battery pack into their vehicle and conduct comprehensive road tests. This collegiate competition is part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) broader Battery Workforce Challenge Program, which also includes regional training with vocational and community colleges, STEM youth education, and an online tool for career and technical education. The program is dedicated to cultivating a diverse cohort of skilled engineers, technicians and workers to propel domestic battery technology forward.

BattChallenge is sponsored by the DOE and Stellantis, and is managed by Argonne National Laboratory. This partnership is building the next generation of engineers, technicians, and workers to address the unprecedented demand for a domestic electric vehicle / battery workforce. The DOE has set a bold target to address the climate crisis that puts our nation on a path to achieve net-zero emissions, economy-wide, by 2050. BattChallenge seeks to build a highly skilled domestic workforce with the hands-on experience and knowledge needed for in-demand positions throughout the electric vehicle / battery industry.

For additional information about ACC Automotive Service Technology or the BattChallenge program, please contact Jake Tipsword.