Written By: Nick Tomczak
The Ohio State EcoCAR 3 team brought home yet another championship in Year Two of the EcoCAR 3 competition last spring. The Buckeyes achieved first place in 11 of the 35 scored events, making this Ohio State’s third consecutive first place finish. “In less than four months, they brought their hybrid Camaro to life,” said team advisor Dr. Shawn Midlam-Mohler. “Special thanks to Ohio State and all of our sponsors who made this win possible.” The team came back to Columbus with more than a few trophies and some stories. With the first two years of competition behind them, the team got right to work in order to keep up Ohio State’s championship streak.
The team got right to work once their Camaro returned back into the Ohio State Student Garage. The primary focus was to fix the bugs in the system identified at competition in order to prepare for the Year 3 vehicle integration and refinement work. Chief among these issues was a problem that forced the electrical sub-team to switch the leads on the current sense module in the battery pack. Next, the team had the chance to jump start vehicle testing efforts by setting up the vehicle’s engine on a dynamometer to get baseline reading and facilitated further testing during the year. Finally, the team wrapped up the summer by sending the vehicle off to PPG Paints for a new look. The paint job (pictured below) features the pride of the Ohio State brand by complementing the white base with scarlet and grey accents and block O on the hood.
The Ohio State EcoCAR 3 Team has no plans on coasting into the year. The team returned from Fall Workshop with a new set of skills and their sights set on the Year 3 Competition. Throughout the third build year, the team will focus their efforts on completing the integration of major vehicle components. By the end of Year 3, the Classic Recharged Camaro will be a 65% showroom ready vehicle. The car will be able to operate in all four designed modes in order to allow the driver to choose between efficiency and performance. The vehicle will also feature a student designed and implemented Advanced Driver Assistance System. The system will be able to identify street signs and lanes to keep the driver safe. After the completion of all integration work, the vehicle will undergo extensive testing before shipping off to competition where the vehicle will be judged based on fuel economy, emissions and performance.
The Ohio State EcoCAR Team’s work will not be confined to the garage. The communications and project management teams will be increasing its community outreach efforts. Through tours, ride and drives, car shows and other events the team will engage with the community to learn about customer wants and needs. The team will also work with local schools and youth groups to encourage the next generation of students to pursue degrees in STEM education.
After successful finishes in the first two years of competition, the Ohio State EcoCAR 3 Team has its sights set on the final two years of competition. With a full plate of tasks, the engineers will be putting the final touches on integrating an energy efficient powertrain that maximizes performance. The communications team will bring the car alive to engage the Columbus, Ohio region with the Classic Recharged Hybrid Chevrolet Camaro.