General Motors donated an EV1 electric car to Kettering University's Mechanical Engineering and Electrical and Computer Engineering departments in a ceremony on campus Oct. 12. The car will be used for test bed student engineering projects in both disciplines, said Dr. Craig Hoff, associate professor of Mechanical Engineering.
Possible projects include acquiring a fuel cell to install in the vehicle to give students experience with the "wave of the future" in electric cars, said Hoff. "Fuel cells have a much farther range than the current batteries used to power electric cars," he said. The donated car did not come with a battery.
"People ask me what do we want with a disabled car, and I tell them we don't intend for it to be disabled for long. What we can do with this car is only limited by what we imagine we can do with this car," said Hoff.
The university is one of 40 colleges nationwide to receive an electric car from General Motors. Hoff and Dr. Mark Thompson, professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, responded to a request for proposals from General Motors to receive the electric car.
"General Motors developed a newer model with an upgraded battery, and decided to pull the late model battery vehicles out of use," said Hoff.
The vehicles are being donated to universities and museums, he said. Electric vehicles are not currently available for purchase but are available for lease.