Prepares for Final Detroit Competition
MOSCOW The University of Idaho's FutureTruck, a student-converted
Ford Explorer that runs on gasoline and electricity, and its
hybrid tow truck, which captures and stores kinetic energy
from braking, will be demonstrated next week in Boise.
They will be part of a "Hybrid Electric Vehicle Expo"
from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, May 22, in the parking lot
of the Boise State University Student Union Building on University
Drive. The event, organized by the local chapter of the American
Society of Mechanical Engineers, is free and open to the public.
Commercial and custom vehicles, both private and state-owned,
will be displayed. Among them will be the Toyota Prius and
Honda Insight. Attendees may learn from the owners about maintenance,
reliability and costs.
The Ford Explorer is a FutureTruck competition vehicle. Two
years ago, Ford Motor Co. donated a 2002 Ford Explorer to
15 engineering schools in the country. UI's team was the only
Northwest school to receive a vehicle. Each team was to re-engineer
its truck to achieve lower emissions and at least 25 percent
higher fuel economy, without sacrificing performance, utility,
safety or affordability. UI modifications include a capacitor-based
energy storage system, chemically preheated catalysts, reduced
engine loads and a custom transfer case to transfer power.
The tow hybrid vehicle uses hydraulics, whereas the Explorer
uses electricity. From community-donated services and materials,
the modified F-350 is expected to use 25-35 percent less fuel
than a comparable vehicle.
June 9-17, both vehicles and team members will join 14 other
university teams at Fords Michigan Proving Grounds in
Detroit, Mich. for the final contest. See www.FutureTruck.org
for details, or see www.idahofuturetruck.org <http://www.idahofuturetruck.org/>
for UI's efforts.
"When this last competition ends, the team will concentrate
on applying clean vehicle technologies to the Northwest transportation
sector," said Frank Albrecht, staff adviser to the advanced
vehicle concepts team. "We have completed a feasibility
study to determine the economic, technological and social
impacts of applying hybrid technology to Latah County garbage
This year's team members are 70-some strong with the following
GRANGEVILLE Fred Jessup, electronics group
HANSEN Richard Statler, team president;
MOSCOW Brant Osiensky, powertrain group leader;
MOUNTAIN HOME Jeremy Forbes, team vice president;
PARMA Brad Watson, accessories group leader;
POCATELLO Tom Coburn, hydraulics leader;
POST FALLS Cristy Izatt, public relations leader.