The Georgia Tech EcoCAR team just ended their third week at the General Motors Milford Proving Grounds. During the first week, the team overcame several issues that got them to the point where they could try to start the EcoCAR’s engine. However after turning it over, the team noticed that it was not producing torque. It had been broken and they had to replace it. On Georgia Tech’s second trip, team members had to replace the engine, which involved taking out all the components in the whole front end of the car. By the end of the second trip, they still had to resolve some mechanical issues before trying to run the engine. On the most recent trip to the Proving Grounds, the team fixed the mechanical issues and were able to spin the EcoCAR’s wheels using only electrical motors for the first time after reinstalling the whole front end of the car. On the final day, GM helped Georgia Tech turn on its engine and watch the state of charge go up, showing that the battery pack was charged with the engine.
With GM’s analysis of the team’s vehicle data, they hope to discover what adjustments need to be made so they can reliably control when the engine turns on and to finally start driving the vehicle. Georgia Tech is very appreciative of the invaluable assistance and education that GM has provided to them; not only during their time in Milford, but throughout the entire competition. They look forward to getting the car back to Atlanta and gearing up for Year Three of the competition!