Students build an award-winning hybrid racecar
By Ben Coxworth
May 22, 2012
Last month we told you about a team of engineering students from Utah’s Brigham Young University (BYU), who were competing in a wall-climbing contest using a Batman-inspired system that they created. While they may not have won that competition, the university recently alerted us to another one of its student engineering teams that did take first place in another contest – in this case, they designed a very fast, very efficient hybrid racecar.
The car is known as Hybrid Blue, and was built by a group of 16 undergraduate students under the supervision of BYU’s Dr. Robert Todd. It came in first at the 2012 Formula Hybrid International Competition, held at the the New Hampshire Motor Speedway earlier this month.
Hybrid Blue produces 100 horsepower and 450 foot-pounds (610 Nm) of torque. The parallel hybrid is propelled by both an E85 (ethanol-based) fuel-burning engine, and an electric motor that is powered by a 72-volt lithium-polymer battery pack. It can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph (96.5 km/h) in approximately three seconds.
In the course of the event, Hybrid Blue underwent a mechanical inspection, and competed against entries from 40 other universities in a record-setting acceleration run, an endurance run, an autocross event and an agility race. In the 22-kilometer (13.7-mile) endurance run, it not only came in first, but also finished with fuel left over and 75 percent of a full charge still left on the battery.
This was the final project for the retiring Dr.Todd, and marked the first time that BYU has taken first place at the event since beginning to compete in 2009.
Hybrid Blue can be seen in action in the video below.
Source: Brigham Young University
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