P13261: Electric Vehicle Powertrain


Project Summary Project Information

This year the RIT Electric Vehicle club intends to compete in the TTXGP eGrandPrix competition. The TTXGP is an international electric superbike competition drawing teams from top electric motorcycle manufacturers and universities. The mission of the race series taken from the website is to have “an international race series providing a high profile platform for the development of electric vehicles. Using motorcycles as a resource effective development platform, TTXGP enables the futuristic technology behind them to be tested in an exciting and challenging way. TTXGP aims to drive low carbon technological innovation forward, to demonstrate that clean-emission transport technologies have matured and can be fun, fast and excitingâ€. The competition pushes teams to develop high performance drive trains capable of pushing their vehicles to perform at the highest level current technology allows while ensuring their power packs have enough capacity to cross the finish line. The demands of racing force teams to explore new technology and new approaches to power train design in order to get the most out of their racing package.

The club aims to be a part of this emerging industry, and establish a reputation as a world class player in the development of electric vehicles by incorporating electronic traction control and a multi-speed transmission into our vehicle. These technologies are ubiquitous in conventional ICE racing vehicles, but have yet to be used in the TTXGP. The club's experience building their electric drag bike last spring has taught us the importance of proper gearing and automatic power modulation when excess torque is available.

The senior design team will be creating a multi-speed transmission that will allow the motor to remain closer to its optimal rpm while still providing the power needed to accelerate the vehicle as fast as the limitations of the wheels allow. In order to compensate for the limitations of the wheels and the abundance of torque available in a high performance electric motor, the team will be creating an electronic traction control system that will limit the power available when the rear wheel begins to slip or the front wheel begins to lift.

The first objective of the senior design project is to create a model demonstrating the effectiveness of a simple multi-speed transmission, a design for the transmission, and develop a traction control system and correlated test bench. The model of the transmission will allow the user to modify battery capacity and vehicle weight, the weight of the transmission, and the number and ratios of the gears of the transmission to determine what transmission design will best offset its weight with efficiency and best improve race performance. The model will allow us to determine whether the transmission will improve our overall performance vs. a conventional direct drive system. The team will then make a design of the the transmission that can be built by the the club.

The second objective of the team will be to design a traction control system and construct a test bench on which it can be tested. The control system will include sensors for collecting data on the temperature of power train components such as the batteries, controller, and motor as well as motor rpm, front and rear wheel rpm, controller output voltage and amperage, battery voltage and amperage, power consumption, and efficiency in Wh/Km. The objective of the traction control system will be to prevent front wheel lift and rear wheel slippage under acceleration in order to increase the efficiency of the vehicle and improve handling.

The combination of the two systems will allow the vehicle to accelerate much closer to its theoretical maximum while decreasing our overall power consumption. Should the systems prove to be effective they will provide the club with a significant performance advantage in the competition.

Project Name
EV Team Super Bike Powertrain, Traction Controller and Test Stand
Project Number
Start Term
2012-13 Fall
End Term
2012-13 Winter
Faculty Guide
George Slack, gbseee@rit.edu
Primary Customer
John Kennedy, jhk8459@rit.edu
Sponsor (financial support)
RIT Electric Vehicle Team

PRP R12900 Document

Team Members

James Evans, Dan Brownlee, Joshua Doores, Sean Harriman, Andrew Robinson

James Evans, Dan Brownlee, Joshua Doores, Sean Harriman, Andrew Robinson

Member Role Contact
Dan Brownlee Mechanical Engineer drb6015@rit.edu
Joshua Doores Electrical Engineer jrd7028@rit.edu
James Evans Electrical Engineer jde7526@rit.edu
Sean Harriman Mechanical Engineer (Applied Math) seanharriman@gmail.com
Andrew Robison Mechanical Engineer (Computational Math) adr8576@gmail.com

Table of Contents


Photo Gallery 1

Planning & Execution

Systems Design

Detailed Design

Project Review 1

Photo Gallery 2

Planning & Execution

Build, Test, Document

Project Review 2

Technical Paper



Prof. George Slack, Mark Smith, RIT Electric Vehicle Club, Dr. Antonio Mondragon, & Dr. Mario Gomes