The UVic EcoCAR team has been very busy the last two weeks preparing for the A123Systems battery inspection and Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) technical inspection. The team is happy to report that the long, grueling nights, that put their skills and sanity to the test, paid off as they passed the A123Systems inspection and their vehicle qualified to ship to competition.

Preparing for the A123Systems inspection proved to be taxing and some lessons were learned the hard way. The parts came together for the team’s custom cooling system, but they quickly learned how important it is to pressure test the system with air before filling it with coolant. Team leader, and now team plumber, Jeremy Wise, spent several hours finding and fixing leaks. The end result was a system that held 30psi overnight without any pressure drop. Jeff Waldner, who will be taking over the team leader role later this year, found that Computer-aided Design (CAD) should never be fully trusted, as he was left remaking mounting brackets for vital battery components with only hours to spare.

For the ANL inspection that took place three days later, the team assembled and installed the new rear cradle for the first time. Surprisingly, everything fit. Although the team didn’t get the chance to hook it up to the A123Systems battery, overall they were happy with the way things turned out.

ANL's Mike Wahlstrom under the hood of UVic's EcoCAR

With only one month remaining before vehicle shipment, several key steps remain: integration of the A123Systems battery with the 2-Mode transmission, software control of the 2-Mode transmission, and building a CAN gateway for the LE9 engine control module. One thing is for certain, many more sleepless nights to come in preparation for Yuma!