The Mississippi State University EcoCAR team has been working diligently the past few months on reducing the overall mass of the vehicle. The mechanical/powertrain group has been redesigning and building new Aluminum motor and engine mounts to replace the older steel mounts. Just before the holiday’s, the team dropped the entire powertrain to make the improvements. While the powertrain was out of the vehicle for a few days, the team also made some improvements to the electrical wiring, and mounted a new sway bar.
In addition to the aluminum mounts, other options for lightweighting the vehicle are also in progress. The team is currently partnering with the aircraft manufacturer Aurora Flight Sciences (http://www.aurora.aero ) to help build some carbon fiber components for the team’s vehicle. The team is also researching other options that will decrease the overall mass of the vehicle, thus improving the vehicle’s braking, acceleration, and fuel economy.