A hybrid car designed by engineering students from R V College of Engineering (RVCE), Bangalore, won laurels at the Formula Hybrid event hosted by New Hampshire Motor Speedway in the United States recently.
A 15-member team called Chimera, in collaboration with Nitte Meenakshi Institute of Technology, developed a hybrid car that runs on petrol and battery-powered electricity and is quite fuel efficienct. Of the 15-member crew, six students — Vijay Jayaraman, Chirag Basavaraj, Vishal Kumar, Shree Harsh, Monith Reddy and Piyush Amitabh from RVCE — represented their team in the competition.
The students took their creation to the Formula Hybrid competition held annually by Thayer School of Engineering, University of Dartmouth, New Hampshire, where Team Chimera finished 9th among teams from the US and nine other countries. The New Hampshire Motor Speedway, the hosts of the event, offered $500 to support fundraising efforts for the team that won the Fan Favourite Award, which was won by Chimera.
Chimera started as a project in 2006 to develop various new electric and hybrid technologies for automotive vehicles, inviting participation from students who share a common concern about the degradation of the planet, says Chirag B, a final-year computer science engineering student.
“We took about two years to build the car and we had to come up with a basic design at the competition,” he says. The team was appreciated for its business presentation to evaluate the students’ ability to deliver a comprehensive business case and for the design review, where they were evaluated on the efforts that went into the design of the car.
The hybrid car gives a magnificent mileage of 42-45 km for a litre of petrol with a fully charged battery, and the ability to clock a top speed of 85 kmph. The battery requires charging for minimum six hours for one day’s run. “We used the motor of the Reva electric car with the engine of a Pulsar 220cc bike,” he says.
“The amount spent on the car was around `7 lakh. We will build it from scratch to improve design and performance along with making some few modifications inspired by the teams that we competed with,” says Piyush, an electronics graduate from RVCE who is the team leader. The team will participate in 2015 again.