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NSF awards Univ. of Maryland and Genovation $438K to develop novel hybrid energy storage system for EVs

The National Science Foundation has selected a project by researchers at the University of Maryland and their partners from Genovation Cars (earlier post) for a $438,418 GOALI (Grant Opportunities for Academic Liaison with Industry) award to develop a novel hybrid energy storage system for electric vehicles.

The specific objectives of the project—“Advanced Silicon Carbide based Novel Hybrid Energy Storage System for Plug-In Electric Vehicles”—are to: (a) reduce the weight of the energy storage system (composed of high energy-density battery pack, ultracapacitor pack and a DC/DC converter) to less than the weight of a high power-density battery pack alone, while increasing the battery lifetime; and (b) implement, develop, and validate this technology on the powertrain of a new electric car.

The project is led by Dr. Alireza Khaligh, Assistant Professor Electrical and Computer Engineering, A. James Clark School of Engineering at the University of Maryland, with Steven Rogers, president and CTO of Genovation Cars.

Dr. Khaligh’s research group has been collaborating with Genovation Cars Inc. to investigate, propose, model and develop an actively controlled battery/ultra-capacitor system for the G2 Electric Car. The goal is to decrease battery size and increase battery lifetime, while improving the efficiency of the vehicles through more efficient regenerative braking.

The intention of the NSF-funded work is to overcome current limitations of batteries by using a SiC (Silicon Carbide)-based novel converter and a unique decoupled power/energy management strategy optimally to control the system. The project integrates different disciplines such as electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, and applied mathematics, thereby fostering multidisciplinary collaborative research.

Founded in 2007 in Rockville, Md., Genovation is designing automobiles that combine electric drive technology with very lightweight and aerodynamic frames and bodies. It is currently developing the G2 model in two versions: a Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) and a Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV).

  • The BEV variant is powered by a 38kWh battery pack designed and supplied by K2 Energy. The pack size is calculated to give the vehicle a range of 100 miles (161 km) under worst-case conditions. That is, the outside temperature is very cold and all auxiliary systems are running (windshield wipers, headlights, heaters etc).

  • The PHEV variant will have a smaller battery pack of 22kWh and will include the Lotus 3-cylinder range extender. (Earlier post.)

The car weighs approximately 3,500 pounds (1,588 kg), has a drag coefficient (Cd) of 0.2 and will reach 60 mph in less than 7.5 seconds. The Cd measure was made using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and will be confirmed using the University of Maryland’s wind tunnel. Initial crash simulations show excellent results; Genovation believes a 5-star rating in final design is very feasible.



How can they make sure that their energy saving technologies effectively find their way into mass produced PHEVs and BEVs?

If not, it becomes a waste of funds and efforts?


This is a very small amount of money in the scheme of things. What it will do is provide funding for a professor and some graduate students. Hopefully, the professor and graduate students will do some meaningful work but at a minimum the students will get a decent education and go on to do other useful work.

My education was supported by an NSF grant. I believe that I did some seminal work in robot assembly and I was able to present my work in an international conference. But even if this was not the case, I got a great education and have been able to go on to do other useful work.


Yes, this could be worthwhile from an education point of view.

It would be interesting if they could solve the ultracap/battery combo configuration + associated control system for less than 1/2 million dollars?

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