100 Randolph Hall 0238
Blacksburg, VA 24061
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Doug Nelson
Team Leaders: Eli White and Chris Manning
Communication Managers: Virginia Hyer and Chris Bonelli
Business Manager: Andrew Benoit
Virginia Tech’s Hybrid Electric Vehicle Team (HEVT) has been participating in AVTCs since 1995, starting with the HEV Challenge. The 2012-2013 HEVT is composed of senior engineering students and underclassmen volunteers from various engineering disciplines. It is divided into five subteams: controls, electrical, mechanical, communication and business. The subteams work together to design and implement the vehicle architecture chosen in Year 1 of EcoCAR 2 to build a running hybrid vehicle in Year 2. Team members are also responsible for communication, business, and engineering deliverables. The team functions as a senior design project under Virginia Tech’s mechanical engineering curriculum. The team incorporates electrical and computer engineering students as well as underclassmen volunteers who can receive independent study credit for their participation. Team membership provides all students with an opportunity to conduct research and development in order to build actual hybrid vehicles.
For the EcoCAR 2 competition, HEVT chose to design and build a series-parallel plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV). This type of vehicle uses two different energy sources — an engine and two electric motors — to operate efficiently, maintain low petroleum energy consumption, and have a low impact on the environment. With this vehicle, the HEVT will be able to plug in and recharge the onboard battery pack with grid electricity, allowing the car to operate in all-electric mode. Since the vehicle attains only about 45 miles on a single charge, the HEVT is adding a GM 2.4 L flex fuel engine that uses E85 ethanol to extend its range. This engine will start automatically when the battery charge runs low, so the vehicle can operate solely on fuel energy until the next time the battery is recharged from the grid and all-electric mode can resume. By using these two energy sources to produce the series-parallel PHEV configuration, the HEVT achieves efficient power transfer to the wheels as the engine and electric motors are combined at different times.