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Last week was a big week for the Ohio State University EcoCAR team. The team unveiled its new website—feel free to share your feedback—and took its EcoCAR out for a drive fueled by a newly installed battery pack.

The OSU engineering team has been hard at work getting the car ready to drive. One of the major accomplishments was getting the battery pack installed, which sits in the trunk of the car. OSU’s EcoCAR fuels the rear powertrain off the battery pack, so getting it completely situated was a big event.

OSU's EcoCAR team pushes the car out of the garage for its first drive fueled by the battery pack

The process of driving the EcoCAR started with hoisting it off the ground to make sure that everything would work correctly when it was outside of the garage. After success in the air, it was time for the team to roll the car out of the garage and into the afternoon sunshine.

The team fired up the engine and drove the car in both forward and reverse around the garage.

So far so good! Check out the post on OSU’s EcoCAR website to watch a video of the car in action.

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The University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) EcoCAR team has worked tirelessly throughout the academic year to build its all electric vehicle for the EcoCAR 2010 Competition Finals, May 17-27, 2010 in Yuma, AZ and San Diego, CA. Like the other 15 universities competing in the EcoCAR Challenge, the UOIT team has put in countless hours and had many sleepless nights in the last several months to prepare for the Safety & Technical Inspection this March.

UOIT team members look on as their vehicle is inspected

Michael Wahlstrom, an engineer and safety tech inspector for the Advanced Vehicle Technology Competitions at Argonne National Laboratory, paid the team a visit on March 15th and inspected their vehicle meticulously. Mike evaluated the vehicle to ensure that the team had followed the EcoCAR safety and technical rules and pointed out areas that needed attention prior to shipping the vehicle to competition in early May.

Mike Wahlstrom takes a look at the team's battery pack

UOIT’s electric vehicle has the largest battery pack in the EcoCAR fleet, making it imperative that all fault modes be considered and that mitigation procedures are put in place in order to eliminate all risk of injury to the driver or passengers. When storing almost 80 kWh of energy, a fault in the system could mean trouble if sound engineering practices and key fault mitigation procedures are not implemented properly.

Check out the video below to see some of the safety systems that have been installed in the team’s electric vehicle and see how “UOIT Plays it Safe” for EcoCAR.

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