UAlberta Eco-Car Team Develops Single-Seat Concept Car
Alice will be competing in the Shell Eco-Marathon Americas competition.
The University of Alberta Eco-Car team is sending its new concept car to Detroit to compete in the Shell Eco-Marathon Americas competition.
The concept car, created by a 19 member team, is called Alice and will be competing in what is considered the most challenging group, the Urban Concept-hydrogen fuel category.
The team is led by Nik Viktorov, a third-year chemical engineering (co-op) student, who says that the team has high hopes for the vehicle. If they come in one of the top two spots, they will be eligible to enter the Shell Eco-Marathon race in London, England this July.
How does Alice differ from other cars on the market? Viktorov explains that it is pretty much a completely new car with a new design including a unique shell, chassis and wheels. The concept was designed as a one-seater vehicle.
“We got rid of some black-box systems that we had bought and learned to use. Now, we’re using more systems that we designed ourselves,” said Viktorov. “The fuel cell controller is new—it’s a second iteration of something we designed by ourselves and it’s one the most solid systems in the car.”
The Alice concept car is a lightweight vehicle—it is approximately 20 per cent lighter than the predecessor, Steve.
“We hope to translate those weight savings into energy efficiencies,” Viktorov said.
One of the challenges of this particular Urban Concept category is that the vehicles should look and drive like something consumers would actually buy. Alice features brake and signal lights, rear-view and side-view mirrors and a seat belt for the driver.
The team has designed Alice to run on of a hydrogen fuel cell. During the competition, Alice will be required to pass technical tests and design reviews and will also be tested on a track. The race requires vehicles to travel eight miles in a minimum of 24 minutes. The car completing the route using the least amount of energy wins.
In previous competitions, the team has boasted that Alice was able to complete the course using the energy equivalent of 618 mpg (0.1 L/100 km).
The Shell Eco-Marathon Americas runs April 21 – 24.