University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Contact Address

1512 Middle Drive
Knoxville, TN 37996
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Faculty Advisors: David Irick and David Smith
Team Leader: Matthew Bush
Communication Manager: Sarah Zimmerman
Business Manager: Nicolas Ponzio

Team Description
Team Tennessee is composed of engineering, business and communications teams. The mechanical engineering teams are divided into four subgroups and are categorized as the vehicle front mechanical, vehicle rear mechanical, thermal and controls teams. The team also has electrical and center stack teams to work on the electrical design and components and the center stack, respectively. Matthew Bush is the overall engineering team lead, and he supports and assists each division of the engineering team. Michael Potts assists Matthew as the controls team lead. Nicolas Ponzio leads the business team, while Sarah Zimmerman is overall leader of the communications team.

Vehicle Design
Team Tennessee’s EcoCAR 2 vehicle is a series-parallel plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV), consisting of a 2.4 L LE9 engine fueled with E85 (85% ethanol and 15% gasoline) coupled to a UQM SR218H generator. Ethanol is a domestically produced, renewable fuel which has reduced lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions when compared to gasoline. The rear drive consists of a Remy HVH 250-115S motor mated to a BorgWarner eGearDrive. The energy storage system consists of seven 15s2p modules from A123 Systems, providing a nominal 340 volts with 40 Ah capacity. The vehicle will have a 34.4 mile (55.4 kilometer) charge-depleting range, after which the vehicle may be operated as either a series or parallel hybrid. The series-parallel architecture allows for a blended energy consumption strategy which maximizes power efficiency with both series and parallel modes. Series mode allows the engine to operate at the highest efficiency point, and the electric vehicle operation can be carefully brought online to optimize catalyst warming and reduce emissions. In parallel mode, the engine is tied directly to the front wheels, and the electric motor drivetrain powers the rear wheels. At times of peak power demand, the vehicle will use both series and parallel modes in combination.


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EcoCAR 2 is an Advanced Vehicle Technology Competition (AVTC) managed for the U.S. Department of Energy by Argonne National Laboratory. Learn more about EcoCAR 2 →