SLS AMG Coupé Electric Drive masters Nordschleife in 7:56.234 minutes June 06, 2013 - Nürburg/Affalterbach The Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Coupé Electric Drive circled the Nürburgring Nordschleife (“north loop”) in a record time of 7:56.234 minutes. Therefore, the electric AMG super sports car is at the same time the first electrically-powered series production vehicle, which masters the legendary race track in under eight minutes. The record time of the SLS AMG Coupé Electric Drive was notarially certified. Two weeks after the first overall win for the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 in the 24 Hours Nürburgring, a further member of the SLS AMG family impressively demonstrates its potential on the most difficult race track worldwide.
EcoCAR 2: Plugging In to the Future is a three-year collegiate student engineering competition and the only program of its kind. Focused on vehicle integration of advanced propulsion technologies, EcoCAR 2 offers an unparalleled hands-on, real-world experience to educate the next generation of automotive engineers. The competition challenges 15 universities across North America to reduce the environmental impact of vehicles without compromising performance, safety and consumer acceptability.
Shaped by the greatest design changes in the history of the automotive industry, EcoCAR 2 requires students to explore a variety of powertrain architectures focusing on electric drive vehicle technology. Student designs will consider the well-to-wheel (WTW) impact of fuel use, and select renewable fuels. EcoCAR 2 teams will utilize a 2013 Chevrolet Malibu, donated by General Motors (GM), as the integration platform for their advanced vehicle design.
During the three-year program EcoCAR 2 teams will follow a real-world Vehicle Development Process (VDP) modeled after GM’s VDP. The VDP serves as a roadmap for the engineering process of designing, building and refining their advanced technology vehicles. Following a VDP will give the teams an opportunity to improve their vehicles efficiency while retaining consumer acceptability, performance and safety.
EcoCAR 2’s unique combination of cutting edge engineering practices, hands-on experience, exposure to world-class organizations and knowledge sharing in a competitive and team-oriented environment makes it the perfect preamble to future job success and a bastion for keeping the North American automotive industry competitive in the global marketplace.
EcoCAR 2: Plugging In to the Future was established by the United States Department of Energy (DOE) and GM and is being managed by Argonne National Laboratory. EcoCAR 2 follows the previous successful student engineering competitions, “EcoCAR: The NeXt Challenge” and “Challenge X: Crossover to Sustainable Mobility,” also sponsored by GM and the DOE. More information is available at www.ecocar2.org and on the competition blog at www.greengarageblog.org.
The 15 university teams participating in the EcoCAR 2 competition are:
- CaliforniaStateUniversity, Los Angeles (Los Angeles, CA)
- ColoradoStateUniversity (Fort Collins, CO)
- Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (Daytona Beach, FL)
- MississippiStateUniversity (Starkville, MS)
- North CarolinaStateUniversity (Raleigh, NC)
- The OhioStateUniversity (Columbus, OH)
- PennsylvaniaStateUniversity (University Park, PA)
- PurdueUniversity (West Lafayette, IN)
- Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology (Terre Haute, IN)
- University of Tennessee, Knoxville (Knoxville, TN)
- University of Victoria (Victoria, British Columbia, Canada)
- University of Washington (Seattle, WA)
- University of Waterloo (Waterloo, Ontario, Canada)
- Virginia Tech (Blacksburg, VA)
- WayneStateUniversity (Detroit, MI)
In the first year of EcoCAR 2, student teams received $25,000 in seed money to begin developing their vehicle designs. Year One is an essential foundation for establishing a successful vehicle by emphasizing the use of math-based design tools—like Argonne’s Autonomie or similar vehicle models—and the development of software-in-the-loop (SIL) and hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) simulation techniques.
After researching, comparing and selecting advanced technologies that met the competition and team goals, cach EcoCAR 2 team designed its own unique Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) architecture and utilized a crowd-sourcing format to select the powertrain components that it will integrate into its advanced technology vehicle over the three-year program. The powertrain components that teams selected to drive the vehicle utilized five unique combinations:
Parallel through the Road (PTTR) Plug-in Hybrid vehicles utilize electrical energy to power one axle, while an engine drives another axle. EcoCAR 2 teams using the PTTR architecture include: California State, Los Angeles; Purdue University; University of Washington; and Wayne State University.
Series Plug-in Hybrid vehicles consist of one or more electric motors driving the wheels, powered by a battery. An engine-generator is decoupled from the wheels at all times and provides supplemental electrical power to drive the vehicle when needed. Teams building a Series PHEV are: Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University; North Carolina State University; Pennsylvania State University; and University of Waterloo.
Series-Parallel Plug-in Hybrid powertrains have the ability to couple and de-couple the engine from the wheels while still providing electric power from the on-board battery to drive a motor. EcoCAR 2 teams using the Series-Parallel architecture include: Mississippi State University; The Ohio State University; University of Tennessee, Knoxville; University of Victoria; Virginia Tech.
Hydrogen Fuel Cell Series Plug-in Hybrid vehicles use an onboard fuel cell to convert hydrogen into electricity and either propel the vehicle or recharge a battery pack. The battery pack can be charged using a standard wall outlet. Colorado State University will build a Hydrogen Fuel Cell Series.
Split-Parallel Plug-in Hybrids utilize a motor connected to the engine’s accessory belt that can charge the on-board battery, start the engine and provide additional power for acceleration. A separate motor provides additional power to the wheels. The EcoCAR 2 team using a Split-Parallel powertrain is Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.
Teams will spend the rest of Year One optimizing a practical, realizable solution that will meet the goals of the competition. By broadening the technical focus of the competition to include more aspects of the entire vehicle development process, the university teams will have a greater opportunity to expand their learning and refine their vehicle solutions. Teams that successfully complete this first year of EcoCAR 2 will earn a key to a new 2013 Chevrolet Malibu and a place in the second phase of the competition.
Years Two and Three
During the second and third years of the competition, students will build the vehicle and continue to refine, test, and improve vehicle operation. At the end of Years Two and Three, the re-engineered student vehicle prototypes will compete in a week-long competition of engineering tests. These tests are similar to the tests GM conducts to determine a prototype’s readiness for production. The Greenhouse gas, Regulated Emissions, and Energy in Transportation (GREET) model, developed at Argonne National Laboratory, will be used to assess a well to wheel analysis of the greenhouse gas impacts of each technology approach the teams select.
During the week-long competition, student teams will demonstrate the vehicles so when compared to the production gasoline vehicle they meet or exceed the following goals:
- · Incorporate technologies that reduce petroleum energy consumption on the basis of a total fuel cycle analysis;
- · Reduce fuel consumption;
- · Reduce well to wheel greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions;
- · Reduce criteria tailpipe emissions
The U.S. Department of Energy and General Motors are the headline sponsors for the EcoCAR 2 competition. General Motors will provide production vehicles, vehicle components, seed money, technical mentoring and operational support. The U.S. Department of Energy and its research and development facility, Argonne National Laboratory, will provide competition management, team evaluation and technical and logistical support.