HEV Team Places 1st in FutureCar Challenge
Virginia Tech's Hybrid Electric Vehicle Team (HEVT) tied for first place overall out of 13 competing schools in this summer's week-long 1998 FutureCar Challenge. A team from the University of Wisconsin-Madison was named co-champion.
Competing teams convert a mid-sized auto into a highly fuel-efficient vehicle with ultra-low emissions, but with high comfort and driveability. Participating teams are selected from a pool of about 40 applicants by the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Council for Automotive Research (USCAR).
In addition to top place overall, Virginia Tech won best acceleration, best dynamic handling, best overall engineering design, best vehicle design inspection, best consumer acceptability and best solo autocross. Tech placed second last year and won in 1996.
Other universities competing in the event include: Lawrence Tech, Michigan Tech, the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, the University of Maryland, Concordia University, West Virginia University, Ohio State, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Texas Tech, the University of Tennessee, and the University of California-Davis.
Tech's HEVT converted a '97 Chevy Lumina, named the ANIMUL H2. The initial design called for a series hybrid design with a proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell for the auxiliary power unit. However, delivery of the cell was delayed and the car competed as a purely electric vehicle.
"We were thrilled to do so well in the competition - even without our fuel cell," said Andy Pogany (EE '99), the EE team leader. The team received the fuel cell this semester and is using it in the '99 competition.
Tech's team of about 50 students, included 10 electrical and computer engineers. For more information, please visit http://www.vt.edu:10021/org/hybridcar/.
The Bradley Department of
Electrical and Computer Engineering