100 Randolph Hall 0238
Blacksburg, VA 24061
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Doug Nelson
Team Leaders: Eli White and Chris Manning
Communication Managers: Chris Bonelli and Josh Beckner
Business Manager: Lucas Shoults
The Hybrid Electric Vehicle Team of Virginia Tech (HEVT) has been participating in AVTCs since 1995, starting with the HEV Challenge. The 2013-2014 team is comprised of senior engineering students and underclassmen engineering volunteers, along with communication and business students. It is divided into five subteams: controls, electrical, mechanical, communication and business. The subteams work together to finish implementing the vehicle architecture chosen in Year One of EcoCAR 2 and refine the components from Year 2. Team members are also responsible for communication, business and engineering deliverables. The team functions mainly 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 and get hands-on experience in building and marketing 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.