As the powertrain team, we deal with the physical conversion from a combustion engine (ICE) to a fully electric system. The scope of this conversion encompasses more than installation of the electric motor, it also includes the disassembling of the ICE and the designing of the transmission coupler for the motor. Our current project is focused on installing all parts in the front-end of the E-Volvo, such as an 88-horsepower motor, a custom-made coupler, and the stock 4-speed manual transmission. This process provides members with a unique hands-on experience found outside of the classroom.
One of the many challenges involved with such a conversion is needing to work around the intrinsic benefits of an ICE. This includes the aspect of needing to incorporate some separate method of heating as the AC motor doesn’t give off the same magnitude of heat as an ICE. Another aspect is through coupling the motor to the transmission as neither part is designed for the other. For our current project, we have a custom-made coupler that has been machined through precise CNC in order to assemble the system. Although these challenges are difficult and necessary to solve before the conversion can be considered complete, our main task of getting the car to run under its own power is scheduled to be achieved by Mid to Late 2021.
The success of this project will reflect the feasibility and affordability of the EV conversion process, forwarding Relectric’s core belief of a sustainable future in the automotive industry.