For three years, students from 16 North American schools have part of the EcoCAR Challenge. Penn State University’s team has been working on an extended range electronic vehicle, and this year the team had to refine it to near showroom quality. While the vehicle must perform on the road like a standard SUV, there’s a big difference under the hood.
Team member Shawn Getty, a graduate student at Penn State, says the vehicle is a series hybrid. The engine is coupled to the generator- which makes electricity that goes to the batteries. The electricity stored in the batteries goes to an electric motor which drives the wheels. There is no transmission. The vehicle has an electric range of about 35 miles, and can run on batteries or the diesel engine.
Getty says the team has been doing well this year, placing third in the autocross and completing the 100 mile event course, which only five of the sixteen teams have been able to complete. He says the vehicle has been running vehicle well.
The overall EcoCAR winner titles will be announced in Washington D.C. on Thursday, June 16.
The Penn State team is also on line at www.hev.psu.edu.
**Photo of the Penn State Team was provided by EcoCAR.