The EcoEagles is made up from a diverse group of students at the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University campus in Daytona Beach, Florida. The team utilizes the strengths and experiences of each member to transform their 2013 Chevy Malibu into a series plug-in hybrid electric vehicle, while retaining the front-wheel drive. Watch the video below to learn about the EcoEagles involvement with competition-level sponsor GKN Driveline.
To improve their vehicle’s efficiency, the EcoEagles are implementing GKN’s eTransmission. The eTransmission is a single-speed transaxle with electronic park system.
A pioneer and systems leader in advanced electric and hybrid drivelines, GKN continues to deliver driveline systems and solution to the world’s architecture manufacturers. GKN’s mission is focused on providing the best engineered solutions for their customers. GKN operates four divisions: Aerospace, Land Systems, Driveline and Powder Metallurgy.
“Within the Driveline division there are also four major subdivisions, one of which is dedicated specifically to the Hybrid and Electric Vehicle market. We are applying our expertise and operational excellence to this new and emerging market,” said GKN VP of Engineering – Americas, Dr. Ray Kuczera.
Due to the team’s chosen architecture and space constraints in the vehicle, the team encountered problems mounting the eTransmission. According to EcoEagles Mechanical Team Lead, Chester Rowe II, GKN was very helpful and provided quick feedback and advice when the team had an issue.
“GKN has been great with email and telephone communication whenever we had an issue,” Chester Rowe II said. “GKN has also been able to go back and redesign the housing so that it will work in the configuration we need.”
GKN Chief Engineer – eDrive Systems, Joe Palazzolo, was involved in a similar hands-on collegiate competition while he was in college.
“The typical university experience prepares students for analytical problem solving but may not prepare them for real world problem solving. This competition exposes the students to this monumental task and allows them to apply their course work to a real world challenge. In the end, we don’t build simulations and CAD models, we build cars that must perform exceptionally well in a competitive market,” said Palazzolo.
GKN offers students an insight to real-world technologies and design, which makes them a vital asset to EcoCAR 2 and other advanced vehicle technology competitions.