Team Tuesdays: Cal State LA

The EcoCAR2 team at Cal State University, Los Angeles (CSULA) is enthusiastically pressing ahead and evolving quickly. The EcoCAR 2 program is broken into four groups: mechanical, electrical, controls and business/outreach. Since it is its first year in the program, the team has had a lot to learn, but the challenges have proven inspiring.

The CSULA Team is designing a Parallel through the Road (PTTR) Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle. This architecture is based on an internal combustion engine powering the front wheels while the rear wheels are driven by an electric motor. The vehicle will have a 2.4 liter E85 FlexFuel engine that can be powered by an alternative fuel containing up to 85% ethanol, which reduces pollution emissions and greenhouse gas generation. Powered by an A123 battery pack, a Magna E-Drive electric motor will drive the rear wheels. The vehicle can be completely powered by the engine or the electric motor allowing the driver to run in fully electric mode up to 40 miles. That adequately meets the daily driving needs of most US drivers. In the case of longer trips, the 2.4 L engine can provide power to propel the vehicle and recharge its batteries through the road. In everyday commuting, the battery pack can be recharged at home or in any other location equipped with a charging station. Other traditional hybrid technologies will also be implemented on the vehicle, including regenerative braking, electric air-conditioning and graphic user interface infotainment.

The CSULA business/outreach team has been reaching out to the community by giving presentations to young engineering students. Additionally, the team is busy building a social media presence, designing presentation materials and drafting documentation and proposals to ensure its engineers have the support they need.

The CSULA team is an energetic group of engineers and business students led by professional faculty and experienced advisers. The team looks forward to continuing work in designing the future and helping change the world.