Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Where have I been?

My last post was way too long ago. Well, I am going to jump right back in! I had an amazing summer at Tesla Motors. I learned a large amount, and received invaluable experience designing, engineering, and building battery packs over the six months that I spent working for Tesla. In addition to my work, I got to drive a Tesla Roadster. I explored California by making trips to different cities and National Parks. Finally, I met an amazing amount of passionate hardworking intellectuals that I plan to keep in touch with!

Even though the summer is over, I am still extremely busy! At the start of September I returned to Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Terre Haute, IN to continue my degree in Engineering. I was appointed and have been acting at the Overall Team Leader for Rose-Hulman EcoCAR. I have been enjoying managing the team and also making many appearances throughout Indiana. I have spoken at industry conferences and many other events. However, I think the most valuable experiences are the trips that I have made to talk to students. I really wish someone had talked to me when I was in middle school and high school. I hope I have been able to offer inspiration and encourage more students to become interested in electric cars! These experiences also inspired me to keep working hard and advancing in the electric car industry.

Right now I am fully occupied by school work, organizing a philanthropy event, Pike Fire Truck Pull and EcoCAR. At the start of April, I will host the third annual fire truck pull, an event to raise money and awareness for Special Olympics Indiana. In early June, I will be in Michigan with the rest of Rose-Hulman EcoCAR for the final competition. After the vehicle testing is complete, we will all travel to Washington D.C. for our final presentations. Finally, I will return to Tesla for a second internship and continue work on the world's most advanced electric cars!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Friday, May 7, 2010

I was on EVcast!

I was live on EVcast Saturday, May 8th, from 1-2pm (EST). EVcast is a online radio show that discusses electric vehicles and surrounding topics.

If you would like to watch/listen to a podcast of the show here is the link: EVcast #363

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Company Spotlight: Tesla Motors

I am going to start this series with my current employer and favorite of the whole group of electric car companies(I may be biased). Tesla Motors has been one of the most influential and successful car companies in recent years. They have been credited with the major reason for General Motors and several other car companies reevaluating electric cars.

They are currently manufacturing and selling the Tesla Roadster, a sporty two seater, that competes with many high class expensive sports cars. I have gotten the privilege to drive one and it was quite an amazing experience. There is something special about pushing the accelerator pedal to the floor and not hearing explosions or smelling any fumes polluting the environment.

Tesla is also designing the Model S which thousands of people around the world can not wait for! The Model S is a seven seat sports sedan that will be able to travel 300 miles per charge and accelerate to sixty mile per hour in under six seconds!

If that is not enough Tesla is selling its electric powertrain technology to other car companies to help electrify their vehicles. Currently, Tesla is working with Daimler.

So Many Companies!

There are so many companies getting involved in electric car development. It is almost like the early nineteen hundreds all over again. There are a large number of car companies starting from good ideas and garage space. It is a testament to all the automobile owners around the world giving these startups hope and financial backing to these start-ups. I hope that all of these companies have great success and help to make electricity the primary source of transportation energy. This post is introduction to the start of a series of posts where I will highlight one electric car company per week. We will see how many I can come up with!

Technology: Flywheel

Today, I was sent a video of the Hybrid Porsche 911 GT3 R. I had not previously thought about using a flywheel as a power storage system in a vehicle. However, I have thought about supercapacitors (Electric double-layer capacitors) and batteries. I have even contemplated the idea of combining these two storage systems much like how many animals have two types of muscle. One for quick acceleration (super capacitors) and one for long distance travel (batteries. This would result in more efficient regeneration (braking) and discharge (acceleration) while also allowing the battery to last longer by not cycling it as much from regeneration. However, I am still waiting for supercapacitors to become more available and proven. Flywheels may take supercapacitors place. I plan to follow this technology closely to see how it develops. Currently, flywheels are similar to most electric vehicle technology in that they are too expensive for wide spread use.