The University of Victoria’s Formula Hybrid team was formed by a number of EcoCAR alumni members after the University transitioned away from the program.
The EcoCAR 1 vehicle was a Chevrolet Vue (aka Saturn Vue) that the team converted to a 2-Mode plus all-wheel-drive extended range electric vehicle. The upgraded vehicle retains its 5-passenger capacity, adds a touch screen interface, has new tires and brakes, has a 7” ground clearance, and a towing hitch.
Vehicle Technical Specifications
0-60 Acceleration: 7.5s
50-70 Acceleration: 5.0s
60-0 Braking: 43m
Peak Power: 507 hp
UF-Weighted Fuel Economy: 2.5L/100km
Charge Depleting Range: 64km
Charge Sustaining Fuel Economy: 9L/100km
Ground Clearance: 178mm
For the powertrain, a 2.4L GM E85-capable engine and GM 2-Mode transmission powered the front wheels, and a 145kW UQM electric motor acted as the rear traction motor (RTM). The 2-Mode contains 2 55-kW electric motors and a number of planetary gearsets to provide different combinations of power transfer between the engine and wheels.
2-Mode plus AWD
The RTM powers the rear wheels, while the gas engine and 2-Mode power the front wheels. The 2-Mode’s is a very complex proprietary system which takes many factors into account when making power-split decisions. However, at lower speeds it tends to be simpler and use one motor to provide power to the wheels, while the other motor acts as a generator to send energy back to the battery.
Low-speed EV Mode
The RTM powers the rear wheels, and one of the motors in the 2-Mode provide power to the front wheels. The torque production is biased towards the rear, since the RTM is about three times more powerful than a single motor in the 2-Mode.
High-speed EV Mode
The RTM completely powers the vehicle through the rear wheels. The motor in the 2-Mode that operates in low-speed EV mode is not capable of reaching speeds as high as the RTM, so it is decoupled from the wheels for this mode.
High Performance Mode
The RTM powers the rear wheels, the gas engine powers the front wheels, and both motors in the 2-Mode also provide power to the wheels. Therefore every powertrain component is providing power to the wheels, which enables the vehicle for times of high speed and heavy acceleration.
The EcoCAR 2 started as a 2013 Chevrolet Malibu Eco, which the team has transformed into a series-parallel plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV). The modified vehicle retains its leather interior and 5-passenger capacity, has a Tesla-style 12” infotainment display, has upgraded lightweight alloy rims, and adds a trailer hitch.
Vehicle Technical Specifications
0-60 Acceleration: 8.5s
50-70 Acceleration: 3.6s
60-0 Braking: 43.5m
Peak Power: 454 hp
Charge Depleting Range: 63km
Charge Sustaining Fuel Economy: 8.24L/100km
UF-Weighted Fuel Economy: 4.93L/100km
Ground Clearance: 147mm
The powertrain consists of a 2.4L GM engine capable of operating on either gasoline or E85, a 105kW belted alternator starter motor (BAS) connected to the engine, a 103kW rear traction motor (RTM) to power the rear wheels, and a 16.2kWh A123 Li-ion battery pack.
The vehicle is driven entirely by the RTM, which uses energy from the battery pack. The gas engine then powers the BAS motor, which acts as a generator to replenish this energy. The battery acts as a buffer for the power demands, but its charge stays roughly constant. This is generally used for times of low-medium vehicle speeds, when there are widely varying driving demands, as often experienced in city driving.
BAS Parallel Mode
The gas engine provides power to the front wheels, and the BAS motor provides additional power assistance to the engine, and therefore the front wheels.
The gas engine provides power to the front wheels, and the RTM also provides power to the rear wheels, making this mode all-wheel-drive. These two parallel modes are useful for high vehicle speeds or times of high power demand, such as hard accelerations or highway passing.
This mode is where the UVic EcoCAR 2 is most unique. The vehicle uses the combination of series and parallel mode that at any given moment provides the best efficiency. Typically the engine primarily powers the vehicle, and the BAS or RTM adds or subtracts power to optimize the engine’s efficiency.
The vehicle is driven entirely by the RTM, consuming energy from the battery pack. In this mode, the battery’s charge goes down over time.
The vehicle is driven entirely by the gas engine, and the BAS acts as an alternator to replenish energy used in the 12 volt vehicle systems.
The vehicle is slowed down by the RTM when the driver lifts off the accelerator or presses the brake pedal, storing energy back in the battery pack.