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MIT Students Electrify a Porsche
6 June 2007
A team of MIT students is converting a Porsche 914 into an electric vehicle to demonstrate the viability of standard advanced electric vehicle technology.
The Porsche was donated by MIT Professor Yang Shao-Horn of the mechanical engineering department, who with her husband, Quinn Horn, bought it off eBay and made it available to students interested in converting it to an electric-powered vehicle.
In addition to providing an unusual opportunity for hands-on learning, the project will ultimately yield information valuable to Shao-Horn’s research on advanced batteries. Specifically, she and her team in the Electrochemical Energy Laboratory will be able to measure the conditions that batteries encounter inside an operating vehicle.
Valence Technology donated 18 U24-12XP lithium-ion modules (12.8V, 100Ah) to the project. Valence uses a lithium iron magnesium phosphate cathode material (branded as Saphion). The 15.8 kg U24-12XP module offers a specific energy of 126 Wh/l and energy density of 81 Wh/kg.
Due to some problems with battery racks and time (i.e., end of the semester), the student team has implemented 12 of the modules in series.
The students estimate that the e-Porsche as configured will produce 50-60 hp and have a top speed of 70-100 mph, with a range of about 100 miles. Adding in the additional six battery modules after school resumes in the fall would increase range by another 50%.
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