Building an Electric Car from the Ground Up


Building practical skills in a mixed undergraduate engineering group takes a surprising amount of effort and covers an astonishing range of competences. The building of a competition electric car to the specifications of the SAE Formula in the span of three academic quarters is discussed and covers all the aspects of this soon to be completed vehicle. The car has a torque vectoring power train and is highly dependent on the sensor arrays. We measure acceleration in three dimensions and compute yaw rates coupled to steering demand and slip ratios to determine the torque loading for each motor. With an applied torque of over 250 ft-lbs at each driving wheel, the car will exhibit a 0-60 time of under 3 seconds. There are currently over 3,500 component parts in the mechanical assembly drawings. Everything is done by the students, including the cutting and welding of the chassis assembly and the suspension.

Speaker Bio  Roland Williams, Founder, IPR Matters & Visiting Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering Prof, UC Davis

Dr. Roland Williams is a visiting professor in the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Dept at UC Davis and has taken the lead in making the car team a very visible element of the UC Davis Engineering program. An electronic engineer by training, Roland has gained a significant breadth of experience. He is a named inventor on 17 US patents and has developed three world-first products during his career, a 3 channel portable cellular system deployed with the US military, a three dimensional geophone for seismic survey work and an embedded Chinese language text entry system  for cellular telephones. He has served as COO for two companies and has gained a wealth of intellectual property litigation experience. In addition to his instructional work at UC Davis, Roland is an active certificated flight instructor as well as being a certified Airframe and Powerplant mechanic. He earns a living by offering intellectual property consulting services and engineering design services.