One of the longest-running automotive engineering contests is Challenge X, a four-year contest with the goal of boosting mileage in a production vehicle without sacrificing performance and comfort. Ohio State University engineering students replaced the engine in their Chevy Equinox with a diesel, then added a 300V battery pack and electric motors. Analog components from both STMicroelectronics and Analog Devices handle the conversions for power sources, controlling the battery pack and helping determine when to switch from the internal combustion engine to electric motors.
Californiaís plan to mandate an electric vehicle market isnít the first such undertaking and certainly wonít be the last. But as the Golden State ratchets up for its next big step toward zero-emission vehicle status in 2018, it might be wise to consider a bit of history.