Above: The winning Cornell HEV. Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Co.

156.4 miles as a HEV. The energy economy figures were impressive with only 8.85 kWh of battery and 4.6 gallons of fuel consumed. That's 6.2 miles per kilowatt hour and 34 miles per gallon! Assuming $0.08 per kilowatt-hour, a charge efficiency of 85%, and charger efficiency of 90%, the cost of the electricity amounts to $0.92. That means a buck's worth of electricity would take this car about 60 miles. At $1.15 per gallon of gasoline, a buck's worth of gasoline would take this car about 29 miles. It is hard to escape the fact that electricity makes sense.

The University of California, Davis won the range event for the ground up class, travelling 53.4 miles as a ZEV and 136.4 miles as an HEV. Consuming 10.22 kWh of battery power and 3.1 gallons of gas, a buck of electricity buys 50 miles whereas the same buck buys gas for 38 miles.

The average energy economy for both ground up and converted cars was 4.7 miles per kilowatt-hour and 25.6 miles per gallon. Thus, in an average vehicle, a dollar takes you 22 miles on gas and 45 miles on electricity.

The last day was the Commuter challenge, a stop-and-go event that simulated urban driving. The event consisted of two sessions of ten laps each around a 1.1 mile track. No straight-away was longer than 13 mile. There were 5 or 6 stop signs per lap, and turns of greater than 90 degrees, including hairpin and S curves, were included. The first session would be five laps of HEV mode and five laps of ZEV mode. The second session reversed this, calling for five laps of ZEV and five laps of HEV. Scoring would be based on the lowest elapsed time. Cornell won the ground up class with a time of 27.5 minutes and Alberta won the conversion class with a time of 29.27 minutes.

Cornell consumed 3.49 kWhrs in the 11 miles of ZEV operation in the Commuter challenge, or 3.15 miles per kWhr. A dollar, then, would get this vehicle 30 miles in city. The University of Alberta consumed 3.22 kWhrs during their 11 miles of ZEV operation, or 3.41 miles per kWhr. A dollar of electricity here gave 33 city miles. This is better than almost all production internal combustion vehicles.

Closing Notes

The event closed with an award banquet for eight hundred people, and included short speeches and awards of checks and plaques. I presented the "gag" awards. Colored phasing tape for the "Reverse Polarity" awards, Troll dolls with fluorescent hair for the "Best Gremlin" awards, and the "Toasted Processor" award for the first and only team to successfully destroy every part on one of our circuit boards (application of over 300 volts to the ground bus). Two Ph.D.s graciously accepted the blackened circuit board.

Partying lasted until nearly dawn. The students, faculty, the Ford Team Concept crew, the D.O.E. crew, and I talked cars. Absent were words like horse power or burning rubber. Instead, key words were miles per kilowatt-hour, range, and M.E.E. factors. These young men and women had caught a dream and turned it into reality. The largest population of HEVs in the world sat outside. Collectively they had driven 3,201 miles in competition in two days. In the future they will own electric vehicles because they will be designing them.


Rick Proctor, Cruising Equipment, 6315 Seaview Ave. NW, Seattle, WA ^ 98107 ยป206-782-8100 M

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