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The Excite - The University of Maryland's Pre - Transmission Parallel Hybrid Ford Explorer

The University of Maryland FutureTruck Team has redesigned a 2002 Ford Explorer to function as a charge-sustaining parallel hybrid electric vehicle for the 2002-2003 FutureTruck competition. Dubbed the Excite, it is powered by a dedicated E85 3.0L V6 engine coupled to a 21.6 kW peak (10kW continuous), electric motor using a 144V NiMH battery pack. The philosophy behind the UMD plan is to use a smaller, lightweight, dedicated E85 engine in parallel with an electric motor to provide starting and mild assist capabilities. The engine provides similar power to the stock 4.0 L Explorer engine and the electric motor functions as a starter, an alternator, and assists the engine during high power demands. The combination of the two systems provides the Excite with engine-off-at-idle capability, increased efficiency and fuel economy, and decreased emissions while maintaining the utility of a stock SUV.