The team goal when setting out to build El-Myra was to build the first hybrid car capable of completing a competition modeled on FSAE rules. We select the 2003 Myra chassis (“El-Myra” = “Electric Myra”). Using Myra provided a few key benefits over the previous years hybrid chassis E-STAB: a large rear space to work with, a rear differential, and simplicity of component assembly. The team chose to keep Myra’s drivetrain and suspension. Though we knew this wouldn’t be the best choice for handling, we wanted to focus our resources on getting the hybrid components successfully worked out.
El-Myra employed a series hybrid system. With this system an internal combustion engine is coupled to an electric generator, storing energy in our ultracapacitor banks by way of a custom built DC-DC converter. The electric motor controller then draws the current out of the capacitors, sending it through the electric motor and ultimately applying the torque to the rear drivetrain.
Unfortunately, we never finished integrating all of the power electronic components of El-Myra. She was, however, an impressively fast electric-only vehicle in her prime.