The last few years have been an exciting time for alternative vehicle development. New concerns about the environmental impact of personal transportation and about the United States' dependence on imported oil have pushed energy efficient, ultra-low, and zero emissions vehicles to the forefront of automotive design. California's own mandate for Zero Emissions Vehicles (ZEV) takes effect in 1998, creating a tremendous push towards the difficult goal of producing a commercially viable, practical electric vehicle for sale in 1998. Beyond California, most of the world's automakers are simultaneously committing tremendous research and development resources towards the technology necessary for a viable electric vehicle.The University of California at Davis is one of seven California universities participating in the 1993 Ford Hybrid Electric Vehicle Challenge. The Vehicle Design Team in our College of Engineering is one of thirty in the United States and Canada, each developing its own brand of viable two passenger hybrid electric automobile for this competition. The sponsors of this competition, Ford Motor Co., the Department of Energy, and the Society of Automotive Engineers, have established common guidelines and performance goals for the schools to attain.