Since receiving vehicle performance results at the Year Two Finals, the NC State EcoCAR team has been hard at work testing its vehicle and making necessary adjustments to achieve the best results possible. To kick off Year Three, the team held an outreach event for local students enrolled in a Renewable Energy Technology pre-college program. The high school students were given an overview of the EcoCAR competition and and the opportunities the program makes possible. After the presentation, the NC State team then gave the group a tour of the garage to check out the EcoCAR. The students and teachers were excited to watch the vehicle operate on the gravel roads around the garage and on the garage vehicle lift to really get a feel for the Extended Range Electric Vehicle capabilities.
On the technical side, NC State team members are currently working on different projects to get their EcoCAR running smoothly focused on improving the feel of electric motor regenerative breaking, acceleration and creep (the ability to move without either pedal depressed). In addition, the team is continuing its effort to run the diesel engine-generator unit before the next semester begins at NC State. The team is working to refine its EcoCAR in Year Three with plans to lighten the vehicle, improve the battery packaging for better rear seat and cargo space, and make it showroom-ready inside and out by the end of the competition.