Date of Award

Fall 2014

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Gregory M. Shaver

Second Advisor

Peter H. Meckl

Committee Member 1

Oleg Wasynczuk


Purdue University was selected as one of 15 universities to participate in a three year Advanced Vehicle Technology Competition (AVTC) called EcoCar2: Plugging Into the Future. The vehicle built by the Purdue team was a Parallel-Through-The-Road Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PTTR PHEV). The vehicle utilized a B20 diesel powertrain to power the front wheels, as well as a custom electric drivetrain to power the rear wheels. Using this vehicle during the final year of the competition, the team was successful in placing 4th overall as well as 2nd in the category of Well-To-Wheel (WTW) Greenhouse Gas Emissions. A stock 2013 Chevrolet Malibu was given to all teams in the competition to use as a base vehicle. The Purdue team removed the stock 2.4L gasoline engine of the Malibu in order to make room for the diesel powertrain and switched the stock Malibu rear suspension assembly to that of a 2013 All-Wheel-Drive (AWD) Buick LaCrosse in order to make room for the electric drivetrain. The electric drivetrain utilized a 16.4 kWhr Lithium Ion battery pack, a 103 kW (peak) 45 kW (nominal) electric motor, and the driveline components of a 2013 AWD Buick LaCrosse in order to transfer power to the wheels. Significantcant challenges concerning the custom electric drivetrain during the competition included the design, fabrication, installation and operation of a rear suspension cradle, Energy Storage System (ESS) and a Thermal Management System for the ESS. Computer Aided Drawing (CAD) and Finite Element Analysis (FEA) were used heavily during the design stages of vehicle development in order to give the Purdue team and AVTC competition organizers sufficient confidence to allow the team to build the designs they had proposed. This work describes the design, analysis and fabrication procedures used by the Purdue team in order to create the electric drivetrain used in their vehicle for the EcoCar2 competition.