The Moollennium is a hybrid electric vehicle (HEV). Hybrid electric vehicles are vehicles that utilize an electric motor and some other power source, such as an internal combustion engine. The hybrid is used to combine the high efficiency of the motor with the advantages of the second power source, such as the long travel ranges provided by internal combustion engines. Two major Hybrid configurations are used today, the series hybrid and the parallel hybrid.
In a series hybrid electric vehicle the electric motor is the only power source that is coupled directly to the wheels. The secondary power source is attached to a generator and charges the batteries for the motor when they are low. The first HEV constructed by the UW was a series hybrid electric vehicle.
The Moollennium is a parallel hybrid electric vehicle. This means the engine and the motor both supply power directly to the wheels for driving. The amount of power supplied by each is determined by the car’s computer, and is controlled for optimum fuel economy. The vehicle has the capability to run on just the engine, just the motor or a combination of both the engine and the motor.
The Moollennium is one of fifteen 2000 Chevrolet Suburbans donated to each competing University in the 2000 FutureTruck Competition. The first step in the process was to dismantle the stock engine and powertrain to make room for the parallel hybrid system that was to be installed.
For FutureTruck 2000, our two power plants consisted of a turbo diesel and a solectra AC induction motor. The turbo diesel was a European Ford model Puma engine. The Turbo diesel is rated at about 120hp and the electric motor is capable of adding an additional 100hp.
For FutureTruck 2001, the new power plants consisted of a common rail turbo diesel and a Marathon Electric/ UW AC induction motor. The diesel was a European Land Rover model Td5 engine. The Td5 diesel is rated at about 140hp and the electric motor is capable of adding an additional 90hp.