In 1999, the Electric Vehicle Team decided to convert a car to pure electric power to enter in the National Tour de Sol competition. Saturn of Trevose generously donated a 1993 Saturn SL2 for the project. The team spent hundreds of hours researching available technologies, designing conversion plans, approaching sponsors for support, and applying all they had learned to convert this vehicle to a race worthy electric powered automobile.The final result was an electric vehicle that was fun to drive, had a range of over 130 miles on a charge, and an average fuel efficiency of 180 MPGe!
The Drive System
MTS Systems Corporation donated a 36 HP brushless D.C. electric motor and controller. This system proved to be one of the most efficient electric drive systems on the market and gave the team a great advantage.
East Penn Manufacturing donated Deka DC27 batteries for the project. The Saturn''s 324 volt battery pack consisted of 27 twelve volt batteries connected in series. It weighed 1400 lbs and stored enough energy to give the car a 130 mile range. Recharging it completely took about 8 hours.
Michelin donated low rolling resistance tires which were designed for the GM EV1. The Proxima RR had the lowest rolling resistance of any tire on the market. The low rolling resistance increases the vehicle's overall efficiency. The tires were mounted on Dazz motor sports forged aluminum rims that weigh only 7.7 lbs each.
Sprint Springs donated four heavy duty racing springs and a strut tower bar. The team purchased KYB shocks, and replaced the sway bar bushings. They also fabricated a rear strut tower bar and welded it in. These modifications were required to handle the additional weight of the battery pack.