The Robotics Institute of CMU (Carnegie Mellon University), in collaboration with some researchers such as Illah Nourbakhsh of the institute’s Create Lab, have successfully converted a 2002 Civic EX four-door sedan into a fully electric one. The vehicle will be unveiled at an open house near CMU on March 25.
The team has replaced the car’s conventional power train with a 35-horsepower electric motor and 33 lithium-iron-phosphate batteries. CMU claims that the car is able to reach a top speed about 70 miles per hour, having a range of 40 miles in high traffic areas.
According to the researchers, the converted electric car will have a price of around $17,000. The ChargeCar Electric Vehicle Conversion Project also has another interesting part. Their engineers are trying to make the vehicles much more efficient by using AI (Artificial intelligence) to improve battery life.
This becomes possible by connecting the batteries to a high-capacitance energy storage device (a supercapacitor). The artificial intelligence algorithms are used to decide when the electricity is drawn from batteries and stored in the supercapacitor, which is able to release it much more efficiently.