EcoCAR 3, a four-year Advanced Vehicle Technology Competition (AVTC), challenges 16 North American universities to redesign a 2016 Chevrolet Camaro into a hybrid-electric vehicle while also maintaining consumer performance expectations. As the fourth and final year of the competition wraps up, the Mississippi State University (MSU) EcoCAR 3 Team is finishing up the redesign of its 2016 Chevrolet Camaro. Through this redesign, the MSU EcoCAR 3 Team has transformed this classic vehicle into a plug-in hybrid-electric vehicle with special features that give it an environmentally-friendly edge.
As a plug-in hybrid-electric vehicle, the team’s vehicle can gain a charge through a plug-in charger or through the power of the engine. It can run strictly on electric motors, on the engine, or both at the same time. The redesigned 2016 Chevrolet Camaro is primarily electric giving it more low-end torque for quick accelerations. The team integrated a small Jet Ski engine to maximize power and efficiency at highway speeds of 60 to 70 miles per hour. A feature that is especially unique to the MSU EcoCAR 3 Team’s vehicle is the custom gear drive/box that was completely designed by students. This gear box was made to take three inputs (two electric motors and the engine) and transform it into one output which is connected to the driveshaft. The team’s vehicle still maintains, and even improves, performance by going from zero to sixty miles per hour in a matter of 5 seconds.
The MSU EcoCAR 3 Team has created an environmentally-friendly Chevrolet Camaro by implementing the use of E85 fuel. This type of fuel is 85% ethanol, which is made primarily from corn, a renewable resource. Using this type of fuel reduces the need for fossil fuels and nonrenewable resources, as well as decreases harmful emissions that pollute the air and water.
On top of preserving the earth, the MSU EcoCAR 3 Team’s redesigned vehicle has installed some of the latest vehicle technologies. The Advanced Driver Assistant Systems (ADAS) creates a safer driving experience for the consumer. With the use of a radar, the vehicle is able to detect other vehicles and objects and alert the driver when they are nearby. Another part of the system employs a camera located on the windshield in front of the rearview mirror for lane detection to alert the driver if they are steering out of their lane.
As the MSU EcoCAR 3 Team prepares for the Y4 Competition in May, it strives to improve the fun and exciting vehicle of the future, the Plug-in Hybrid-Electric Chevrolet Camaro.