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Converting an Internal Combustion Engine Vehicle to an Electric Vehicle

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

Energy Education and Industrial Partnership Needs

Tagged Division

Energy Conversion and Conservation

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.381.1 - 22.381.15



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Paper Authors


Ali Eydgahi Eastern Michigan University

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Dr. Eydgahi is an Associate Dean of the College of Technology, Coordinator of Ph.D. in Technology program, and Professor of Engineering Technology at the Eastern Michigan University. Since 1986 and prior to joining Eastern Michigan University, he has been with the State University of New York, Oakland University, Wayne County Community College, Wayne State University, and University of Maryland Eastern Shore. Dr. Eydgahi has received a number of awards including the Dow outstanding Young Faculty Award from American Society for Engineering Education in 1990, the Silver Medal for outstanding contribution from International Conference on Automation in 1995, UNESCO Short-term Fellowship in 1996, and three faculty merit awards from the State University of New York. He is a senior member of IEEE and SME, and a member of ASEE. He is currently serving as Secretary/Treasurer of the ECE Division of ASEE and has served as a regional and chapter chairman of ASEE, SME, and IEEE, as an ASEE Campus Representative, as a Faculty Advisor for National Society of Black Engineers Chapter, as a Counselor for IEEE Student Branch, and as a session chair and a member of scientific and international committees for many international conferences. Dr. Eydgahi has been an active reviewer for a number of IEEE and ASEE and other reputedly international journals and conferences. He has published more than hundred papers in refereed international and national journals and conference proceedings such as ASEE and IEEE.

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Edward Lee Long IV University of Maryland, Eastern Shore

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Edward Lee Long IV graduated from he University of Maryland Eastern Shore in 2010, with a Bachelors of Science in Engineering. He currently works for Computer Sciences Cooperation as a Flight Safety Engineering Contractor for NASA at Wallops Flight Facility in Wallops Island Virginia.

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Converting an internal combustion engine vehicle to an electric vehicleSenior students in the Engineering and technology programs are challenged to thoroughly apply theirlearned technological knowledge and skills toward design and implementation of a challengingengineering product in senior deign or capstone courses. In this paper, a successfully implementedcomprehensive design, which utilizes a synergy of competencies gained from undergraduate academicand research experiences with insight to the efforts concerning senior design project is presented.An electric vehicle is a type of alternative fuel car that utilizes electric motors and motor controllersinstead of an internal combustion engine (ICE). Power is derived from battery-packs rather than acarbon based fuel. This saves not only money, but has much smaller impact on the environment. Thesingle drawback is that current marketed electric vehicles are costly for a consumer to obtain. Althoughelectric vehicles offer a cheaper and more environmentally friendly way to travel, their initial cost candrive potential buyers away. Electric cars utilize large battery packs for the energy they use to move.These battery packs alone are very costly for marketed electric vehicles such as the Tesla Roadsterwhich uses lithium-ion batteries.Electric vehicles are of relatively simple design. They consist of batteries for energy, an electric motorfor power, a controller to control the flow of energy to the motor and a potentiometer to allow youraccelerator pedal to provide input to the controller. The vehicle’s gasoline engine, exhaust system, gastank, and clutch assembly will no longer be needed. The manual transmission is bolted to the electricmotor and then secured to the truck’s frame. A battery box is installed in the truck, containing 6 volt,deep-cycle batteries wired in series. The number of batteries is up to the enthusiast and is contingent onthe size of the vehicle and the type of motor that will be used. More batteries, however, equate to aheavier truck, but a longer range. A vacuum pump needs to be added to power the brakes. And one willwant to add voltage and amperage meters to monitor the battery pack’s state of charge. Finally there isa need for charging the DC batteries from an AC source; luckily, there are numerous chargers availableto do such a job.Everything else about the truck is stock. To drive the car, you simply put the key in the ignition andturn it to the on position. You shift into a gear, push on the accelerator pedal and go. It performs like anormal ICE vehicle.The main objective of this project was to create a way to effectively convert an ICE vehicle to anelectrical one, on a small budget that results in a vehicle comparable to marketable cars as a seniordesign project. Furthermore, our aim was to create a process that can be repeated and used by otherconsumers or enthusiasts.In this paper, we discuss the detail development of an electric vehicle for less than one spends on gas ina single year. The principals and components of electric vehicle systems will be shown, and the processof conversion from an internal combustion vehicle to an electric vehicle will be described in detail.Parts for the entire system are available and easily obtainable by anyone, and the conversion processwill be explained thoroughly. This paper demonstrates that creating a running electric vehicle is afinancially, environmentally, and intellectually rewarding endeavor.The numerical modeling for the electric vehicle that was used to calculate the power needed to startmovement and maintain highway speeds is explained. This data was used to select the componentsused in the conversion to electric. Field data from testing of the converted vehicle is also presented andare compared to that of the model prediction.

Eydgahi, A., & Long, E. L. (2011, June), Converting an Internal Combustion Engine Vehicle to an Electric Vehicle Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--17662

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