The development of a parallel hybrid RC hobby car

Open Access
Michaluk, Nathaniel Steven
Area of Honors:
Mechanical Engineering
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Hosam Kadry Fathy, Thesis Supervisor
  • Zoubeida Ounaies, Honors Advisor
  • car
  • electric
  • hobby
  • hybrid
  • hybridization
  • parallel
  • radio controlled
  • rc
  • vehicle
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, transportation accounts for 28 percent of energy used in the United States. Hybrid vehicles can be up to twice as efficient as traditional gasoline vehicles, with only minimal compromise. Electric vehicles are even more efficient and more economical, and offer the potential of personal transportation with near-zero environmental impact. Despite the advantages of hybrid and electric vehicles, surveys indicate that public knowledge about both vehicles is very low. The goal of this project is to develop a parallel hybrid RC hobby car that will eventually aid in educating children and future generations about hybrid and electric vehicles. Our team selected Losi Ten-T as the base car for the conversion. First, I analyzed the mechanical and electrical systems of the car to determine how the car's systems function. Then, our team selected properly sized electric car components, and I converted the car to an all-electric drivetrain. I next developed a parallel hybrid using both the combustion engine and the electric motor. I made some progress in employing a microcontroller to control the engine and motor in the hybrid and to incorporate regenerative braking in the car. The all electric car operated successfully, and the parallel operated successfully using either the motor or the engine. Future plans for the parallel hybrid car include operating the motor and engine in tandem, and employing regenerative braking using the microcontroller.