College - Author 1

College of Engineering

Department - Author 1

Mechanical Engineering Department

Degree Name - Author 1

BS in Mechanical Engineering



Primary Advisor

John Fabijanic


The Cal Poly Supermileage Vehicle team is a multidisciplinary club that designs and builds high efficiency vehicles to compete internationally at Shell Eco-Marathon (SEM). Cal Poly Supermileage Club has been competing in the internal combustion engine (ICE) category of the competition since 2007. The club has decided it is time to expand their competition goals and enter their first battery electric prototype vehicle. To this end, a yearlong senior design project was presented to this team of engineers giving us the opportunity to design an electric powertrain with a custom motor controller. This system has been integrated into Ventus, the 2017 Supermileage competition car, bringing it back to life as E-Ventus for future competitions.

The scope of this project includes sizing a motor, designing the drivetrain, programing the motor driver, building a custom motor controller, and finally mounting all these components into the chassis. The main considerations in this design are the energy efficiency measured in distance per power used (mi/kWh) and the whole system reliability. Driven train system reliability has been defined as the car starts the first time every time and can complete two competition runs of 6.3 miles each without mechanical or electrical failure. Drivetrain weight target was less than 25 pounds, and the finished system came in at 20 lbs 4 oz. Due to the design difficulties of the custom controller, three iterations were able to be produced by the end of this project, but there will need to be further iterations to complete the controller. Because of these difficulties our sponsor, Will Sirski, and club advisor, Dr. Mello, have agreed that providing the club with a working mechanical powertrain, powertrain data from the club chassis dynamometer using the programmed TI evaluation motor controller board, and providing board layout for the third iteration design for the custom controller satisfy their requirements for this project.