|One of the prototypes, powered by electricity and fuel cells. Photo: L. Barry Hetherington|
Students from 21 universities around the world gathered at MIT this summer for the MIT Vehicle Design Summit, which concluded on 13 August. The students designed and built prototype commuter vehicles that exploit human power, biofuels, solar technologies and fuel cells to travel at least 500 miles per gallon of fuel. (Earlier post.)
As one example, the biofuels team used a 1-liter, direct-injection, 22 hp engine fueled by straight vegetable oil and lithium-ion batteries from A123 Systems.
Student designers presented their designs on 10 Aug. The vehicles’ next stage is to tour the country to bring attention to the social and technological issues surrounding alternative-powered vehicles.
With the summit concluded, the participants will publish a technical manual and distribute their findings in the public domain.