At the University of Kansas, a group of students is working small and thinking big. The EcoHawk students are part of a mechanical engineering senior project that is building small, 1/8th scale ecocars and has also turned a beat-up 1974 Volkswagen Beetle into a biodiesel-electric hybrid with "the long term goal of achieving 500 mpg." Nothing like a little ambition in the classroom, right?
The students have given their subgoups nifty names like Team Amp, Team Cell Mates and Team Redline. The different teams are making model cars that use fuel cells, hybrid of all-electric powertrains to get around. EcoHawk Jessica L. wrote to say that the 1/8th scale models are allow the students to "diversify our research in an economical way," which makes sense to us, even if it doesn't exactly follow that you can build a full-size SUV after making a little fuel cell or EV model. It's the lessons learned that are important here. Watch a video of the full-size Beetle in action after the jump. Thanks to Jessica L. for the tip!
[Source: University of Kansas]