As a first-year team, Colorado State University is thrilled to be part of the EcoCAR 2 competition! The Colorado State University Vehicle Innovation Team (CSU VIT) is working to design and build a fuel cell plug-in hybrid vehicle. A fuel cell plug-in hybrid car utilizes the same technology as a traditional hybrid vehicle with one major difference: a plug-in car uses the output of a fuel cell to power the motor and charge the car’s battery. In a fuel cell, hydrogen and oxygen are combined in an electro-chemical reaction that creates electricity with only water as a byproduct. For this reason and because the car doesn’t run on gasoline, fuel cell cars have zero emissions.
The team is made up of 33 senior mechanical engineering students, a faculty advisor, two Ph.D. candidates, one mechanical engineering Master’s student and two Journalism Master’s students. The team is divided into six sub-teams: Team Leaders, Powertrain, Energy Storage, Controls, Auxiliary and Outreach.
The team works out of the CSU Motorsports Engineering Research Center, which supports students in the fields of vehicle dynamics, structures, materials, aerodynamics, powertrain system design and vehicle-level control.