Date of Award


Access Type

Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Science in Electrical & Computer Engineering


Electrical, Computer, Software, and Systems Engineering

Committee Chair

Dr. Ilteris Demirkiran

First Committee Member

Dr. Patrick Currier

Second Committee Member

Dr. Tianyu Yang


Hybrid electric vehicles electrification and optimization is a prominent part of today’s automotive industry. GM and the Department of Energy challenge 16 universities across North America to redesign a Chevrolet Camaro into a hybrid electric vehicle. This thesis will address how Embry Riddle Aeronautical University’s EcoCAR team electrified and optimized the vehicle. The objective of the thesis is to optimize the electric portion of the vehicle, particularly the low voltage circuitry. Prior work is discussed in detail on the vehicle communication bus, building the power distribution unit and the approach the electrical team took when building the electric portion of the vehicle. Simulations were done based on manufacturer data and bench tests to create an ideal model. Data was collected from the vehicle and compared to the ideal model to determine errors in the electrical system. An emphasis was placed on critical and high power components to simplify the simulation model. The issues found were alleviated by conducting research, using research analysis, physically changing the system or by implementing control strategies. Most of the issues came from the power distribution unit and implementation techniques such as grounding. The MOSFETs within the power distribution unit was not fully turning on and off, and which was due to a slow RC time constant occurring on the gate of the transistors. By replacing the resistors, this issue was mitigated. Every problem found was properly mitigated to an acceptable industry or research standard.