Analysis of Data from Electric and Hybrid Electric Vehicle Student Competitions

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


The U.S. Department of Energy sponsored several student engineering competitions in 1993 that provided useful information on electric and hybrid electric vehicles. The electrical energy usage from these competitions has been recorded with a custom-built digital meter installed in every vehicle and used under controlled conditions. When combined with other factors, such as vehicle mass, speed,distance traveled, battery type, and type of components, this information provides useful insight into the performance characteristics of electrics and hybrids. All the vehicles tested were either electric vehicles or hybrid vehicles in electric-only mode, and had an average energy economy of 7.0 km/kWh. Based on the performance of the 'ground-up' hybrid electric vehicles in the 1993 HybridElectric Vehicle Challenge, data revealed a 1 km/kWh energy economy benefit for every 133 kg decrease in vehicle mass. By running all the electric vehicles at a competition in Atlanta at several different constant speeds, the effects of rolling resistance and aerodynamic drag were evaluated. On average, these vehicles were 32% more energy efficient at 40 km/h than at 72 km/h. The results of thecompetition data analysis confirm that these engineering competitions not only provide an educational experience for the students, but also show technology performance and improvements in electric and hybrid vehicles by setting benchmarks and revealing trends.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages15
StatePublished - 1994

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-473-6227


  • electric vehicles
  • electrical energy usage
  • energy economy
  • hybrid electric vehicles (HEV)


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