If you haven’t heard much about the Electric Vehicle Team (EVT) lately that will soon change. Many Edgerton Center teams experience ebbs and flows in activity due to the fluctuating number of incoming and outgoing team members, the team’s knowledge base, and their capacity for new projects. Electric Vehicle Team, like others, has flown under the radar for short periods of time.
Past projects of EVT include: designing and building their eSuperbike and placing fourth (with an average speed of 79 mph) in the 2011 Isle of Man TT motorcycle race; converting a 1976 Porsche 914 to electric and driving it to the top of Mt. Washington; and building an electric trike bicycle and traveling 185 miles from Boston to Albany, NY, using less than one battery charge. Most recently, the team trailered their Porsche to the TownGreen2025 Clean Energy Fair in Gloucester on November 14th.
With many energy efficient miles behind them, they have some exciting miles ahead. They are restoring a 1972 Opel GT, a gift from their faculty advisor, Dan Frey, professor of mechanical engineering and engineering systems. The Opel will undergo an electric vehicle conversion that will match and exceed the performance of the original car with respect to top speed and acceleration. The rear suspension will be replaced with an entirely new rear suspension sub-frame of their own design that will incorporate an upgraded independent suspension as well as the electric motor and other drivetrain components.
According to team captain, Jarrod Smith ’16 “it is definitely one of the most innovative projects the team has attempted on both the mechanical and electrical side.” Thanks to the new CNC machines in Area 51, the team is able to fabricate many of the frame components themselves.
The return of EVT legend Lennon Rodgers SM ’06, PhD ’13, a research scientist in the MIT-SUTD Collaboration, the team has an additional project on their radar. Rodgers, who was the force behind the Isle of Man TT race, has rekindled his influence on the team and they are entering the electric motorcycle scene once again.
“We plan to participate in the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, which will celebrate its 100th anniversary this June. We have partnered with Zero Motorcycles, Great Bay Motorcycles and Rahn’s Motorcycle Engineering to take a commercially available electric motorcycle and make it extremely efficient. This will include reducing the weight, aerodynamic drag and adding advanced algorithms for a more optimal energy strategy. I’m excited to work with the next generation of EVT members including the motorcycle project lead Jimmy Handy ’18” said Lennon
“We have a very fast-paced timeline for preparing the motorcycle for the race. But with new members and projects, it's shaping up to be an awesome year for the team,” said Jarrod.