Analysis of Data from Electric and Hybrid Electric Vehicle Student Competitions

Keith B. Wipke, Nicole Hill, Robert P. Larsen

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


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 Hybrid Electric 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 the competition 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 pages13
StatePublished - 1994
Event1994 SAE International Congress and Exposition - Detroit, MI, United States
Duration: 28 Feb 19943 Mar 1994


Conference1994 SAE International Congress and Exposition
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityDetroit, MI

NREL Publication Number

  • ACNR/CP-14697


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