Boffins rev up electric Porsche

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Boffins rev up electric Porsche

Top gear developed by MIT researchers. Engineering students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have succeeded in converting a Porsche 914 into an electric vehicle.

The car will be used as a research and development tool by MIT students to demonstrate the viability of electric powered cars, while evaluating where and how far the future of electric vehicle technology needs to go.

Yang Shao-Horn, an associate professor in MIT's Department of Mechanical Engineering, and her husband Quinn Horn, spearheaded the project to offer students a hands-on learning experience after purchasing the Porsche on eBay.

The project will also provide information for Shao-Horn's research on advanced batteries at the Electrochemical Energy Laboratory at MIT. Her team will focus on measuring the conditions that batteries encounter inside an operating vehicle.

Battery manufacturer Valence Technology contributed 18 lithium phosphate rechargeable batteries delivered in a 12-volt standard U-Charge power system pack complete with monitoring systems to the research project.

During the conversion, students replaced the Porsche engine with an electric motor including 12 batteries, a battery management system, various relays and a controller that makes all the components work together.

Robert Kanode, president and chief executive at Valence Technology, said: " Using our batteries, the students are better equipped to run extreme tests and measure real-world battery conditions when the car is operating for an extended period of time."
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