UA students test drive hybrid car ahead of competition

UA students test drive hybrid car ahead of competition
(Source: Kelvin Reynolds/WBRC)

TUSCALOOSA, AL (WBRC) - University of Alabama students test drove their hybrid car at Tuscaloosa's Regional Airport Tuesday in preparation for their upcoming competition.

The project is part of a national EcoCar3 program sponsored by the federal department of energy and General Motors.

This project has taken them four years to get to this point.

"It's a lot of work. But it's really fun to keep. Like this year didn't go so well, let's improve it for next year," according to University of Alabama student Hunter Bates.

They converted the gas only engine of this Chevy Camaro into an engine that comes with a hybrid plug in.

"Up here we have a P-1 inverter. This is the P-1 right here, which is an electric motor attacked to a crank shaft," Kyle Fisher explained.

Now they feel they're ready to roll after coming up with the right design concept and installing this 340 volt rechargeable battery pack.

"It's just getting to drive it and time it to how we want it. Trying to be fast or trying to be smooth, zero to 60 or just improving shifts so it feels super smooth when you drive," Bates added.

The two week long testing competition starts in mid May in Yuma, Arizona.

They'll perform driving and handling drills and test the ECO Car 3's fuel economy against similar cars produced by students from other schools.

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