UWAFT: Why We Chose Our Architecture

When it comes to electric vehicles, design of the vehicle architecture is an area where a lot of innovation can take place, thanks to the electric drivetrain and displacement of weight from where it is in a traditional car. During the vehicle selection process, UWAFT took into consideration many factors that our team felt would most align with team goals.

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The process that our team took to decide vehicle architecture considered both what we think the market wants in an EV and what our team’s individual goals are. Our team not only considered many quantitative aspects, but qualitative as well, to ensure that the selection process was as thorough as possible. Through considering factors past those quantitative ones, and adjusting each vehicle score to consider elements such as potential risk associated and ability to mitigate that risk, our team was able to make a sound architecture decision. While it is recognized that this design carries the most risk, it is the design that aligns most closely with the team goals, which we value very highly. For example, the ability for our engineers to be challenged by complex designs such that more relevant industry skills can be learned through participation in EcoCAR.

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Further, our team put emphasis on EV performance, because this is a factor that our target demographic is looking for in any vehicle. Performance in the consumer automotive industry is a point of parity, and to ensure that electric vehicles are as competitive as possible, performance should be emphasized to allow for widespread adoption of the technology. Finally, factors that were previously discussed were also responsible for the decision to feature a hybrid split-parallel configuration. The emphasis on performance and applicable skills learned by the engineering students allow justification for the complexity and risks associated with this design.

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To conclude, there were many considerations during the decision process that our team took to come to our architecture decision. These considerations included both market expectations and team goals. Since performance is a factor that our target demographic values, the UWAFT team recognized that this aspect should be emphasized in our architecture. UWAFT’s team goals of innovation, technology, and engagement were also considered throughout the decision-making process. While the architecture our team is using is complex and therefore more risky, it also allows engineering students to be exposed to situations in which highly valued industry skills can be learned. These combined factors, along with our love for a good challenge, is why we chose our vehicle architecture.

Check out more information about UWAFT’s architecture here!

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