DENC and EcoCar: An EV Showdown - Drive Electric Northern Colorado

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DENC and EcoCar: An EV Showdown

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DENC began collaborating with the Colorado State University Vehicle Innovation Team (VIT) this year as the team finished its three-year competition with the EcoCAR 2 challenge. The team took a brand new Chevrolet Malibu and created an innovative new car they named the “H2eV” that uses hydrogen fuel cell and electric vehicle technology. To read more about this exciting new vehicle, check out this earlier post on the DENC blog.

Last Friday, the VIT sent the H2eV to the final round of the EcoCAR 2 competition with a celebration party.  The team also designed a video skit for the send off that shows the H2eV racing two electric vehicles currently on the market–the Chevrolet Volt and the Nissan LEAF. DENC participated in the creation of the skit by bringing the program’s Nissan LEAF. Colorado State University lent the school’s Chevy Volt from Chevrolet.

Colorado State University allows the CSU VIT to utilize one of their private roadways as a safe and controlled environment to test their vehicle. For the purposes of the skit, CSU allowed the VIT to use this road as a closed course, which allowed the team to test the speeds of the vehicles in a safe and effective way. This race, which was approved by the CSU police department, was a way to test the speeds of each vehicle and compare with like models but does not encourage fast or reckless driving.

For the race the H2eV, Chevy Volt, and Nissan LEAF lined up and “put the pedal to the metal” when the flags were drawn. The Nissan LEAF and Chevy Volt had incredible pick up off the starting line, and initially beat the H2eV in a ¼ mile race. However, the H2eV was able to pick up speed and beat the Nissan LEAF and Chevy Volt in the longer ½ mile race.

A stereotype of electric cars is a supposed “sluggish” pick up and slow overall speed. With the help of the CSU Vehicle Innovation Team, Tynan’s Nissan, Colorado State University, and Chevrolet, we were able to prove that EVs not only have top safety ratings but are also speed demons. The Nissan LEAF drives 0-60 miles in about 7 seconds, compared to the Chevy Malubu and Chevy Volt that both drive 0-60 in about 8.7 seconds. To demonstrate a comparison to a similar type of vehicle with an internal combustion engine, the 2013 Nissan Sentra drives 0-60 in about 9.1 seconds.