In the fall of 2004 the University of Wisconsin entered in a 4 year competition sponsored by the Department of Energy and General Motors Company titled Challenge X. The challenge consists of 17 collegiate teams competing to design, fabricate and refine a Hybrid Vehicle suitable for consumer use based off of the Chevrolet Equinox Crossover SUV platform. The first year of competition concentrated on modeling, simulation and testing of the vehicle powertrain and subsystems using PSAT, a design simulation software. Teams that do sufficiently well in the first year of competition are awarded a 2005 Chevy Equinox through a generous gift from General Motors Corporation. The remaining years of the competition focus on implementing the plans developed in the first year. The primary goals of the Challenge X competition are to re-engineer a stock Chevy Equinox to minimize energy consumption, emissions, and greenhouse gases while maintaining or exceeding the vehicle’s utility and performance.
The vehicle is composed of a front diesel engine swap in the front. It is a 1.9L GM turbo diesel engine paired up with a 6 speed manual transmission. This drives the front wheels of the vehicles. A custom rear frame was fabricated to house a integrated electric power train that dries the rear wheels. It is powered by a Johnson Controls Li-ion battery in the rear of the vehicle. The student programmed controller determines how much power to apply to the wheels at all times for peak efficiency and traction.
The vehicle won 2nd place overall in its final year of competition.
The vehicle is still alive and is used as a shop vehicle to go gets team parts and works great!