The National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium hosted West Virginia University students from the EcoCAR team and Society of Automotive Engineers Formula team for workshops on electric drive vehicle safety. Nearly fifty students attended three sessions at NAFTC headquarters in Morgantown, WV to learn more about safely working with electric drive vehicles.

The EcoCAR and Formula teams design and build vehicles to specific competition standards and then test their vehicles in races against other universities.

EcoCAR 3 is the latest U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Advanced Vehicle Technology Competition (AVTC) series. The program challenges 16 North American university teams to redesign a Chevrolet Camaro to reduce its environmental impact, while maintaining the muscle and performance expected from this iconic American car.

The concept behind Formula SAE is that a fictional manufacturing company has contracted a design team to develop a small Formula-style race car. The prototype race car is to be evaluated for its potential as a production item, targeted for the non-professional weekend autocross racer. Each student team designs, builds and tests a prototype based on a series of rules whose purpose is both to ensure onsite event operations and promote clever problem solving.

Sessions included information from the NAFTC’s award winning Electric Drive Vehicle Automotive Technician curriculum and covered safety equipment, the purpose of high voltage capacitors, active and passive discharge, areas of high voltage on vehicles, system main relays, and diagnostic equipment.

The NAFTC developed the Electric Drive Vehicle Automotive Technician training through a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) to educate, train, and prepare pre-service and in-service automotive technicians on the rapidly expanding field of electric drive vehicle diagnostics and repair.

“This training is important so students know how to safely work on high voltage electric vehicles,” said NAFTC Instructor Mark Schmidt.

Students were able to apply the skills they learned on the NAFTC’s cutaway training Toyota Prius HEVTE and examine high voltage components and practice high voltage isolation fault detection on a Chevy Volt.

Feb15 Ecocar

National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium trainer Mark Schmidt demonstrates electric drive concepts using the NAFTC’s hybrid electric vehicle training educator, HEVTE.




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