Last year, 1.6 million hybrid electric cars were sold in the U.S, making Americans the largest buyers of the vehicles. As demand continues to soar, there’s an increased need to re-train the country’s workforce to keep up the pace of production. Purdue University and Delphi have teamed up to offer an accelerated course on electric hybrid vehicles for the manufacturing company’s employees. The course, EV101 Introduction to Electric Vehicle Systems, consists of 10 four-hour sessions at Purdue’s West Lafayette, IN campus.
Energy Empowers spoke to Purdue engineering professor Dr. Oleg Wasynczuk, who teaches the class, about the goal of the course and why it’s important for America’s clean energy economy.
Q: What’s the goal of the course?
A: EV101 is intended to provide an introductory background to the broad and disparate array of technologies needed to design and manufacture hybrid and electric vehicles. The intent is to follow this course with targeted courses covering the individual technologies at a greater level of detail. At the present time, the course is for Delphi Employees. Discussions are underway for offering the course to a broader audience.
Q: What topics are discussed in the class?
A: The course begins with an introduction of the various configurations and rationale for hybrid and electric vehicles. This is followed by modules on electric power and motor fundamentals, power electronics, batteries, control, and simulation techniques. Each module is taught by domain-area experts.
Q: How was the course funded?
A: EV101 was developed and funded through a combined effort involving Purdue University and Delphi. The plans are to extend the material and offer it at Purdue and via distance education at the senior and graduate level. The 500-level course will be part of the Indiana Advanced Electric Vehicle Training and Education Consortium. [Editor’s note: IAEVTEC received a $6.1 million U.S. Department of Energy grant.]
Q: Why is this course important for the clean energy economy?
A: Civil transportation accounts for a significant portion of this nation’s carbon footprint. Improving gasoline mileage in hybrid vehicles and moving toward non-fossil-based fuels to power more-electric vehicles will help reduce carbon emissions, while simultaneously reducing our dependence upon foreign oil.
This course is intended to bring practitioners and educators together to facilitate the essential transition of the automotive industry to more-electric transport.