Peggie hits the eco-road

22 April 2013


Featuring a variety of ‘go faster’ tweaks and modifications, Oxford’s battery electric vehicle, nicknamed ‘Peggie’, is to compete in the Shell Eco-marathon 2013.

Built by engineers from Oxford Martin School’s Institute for Carbon and Energy Reduction in Transport and the University of Oxford’s Energy and Power Group (EPG), Peggie will battle around 200 teams from across Europe at the Eco-Marathon from 18-20 May. The winners are the teams that go the farthest distance using the least amount of energy.

Peggie experienced her race debut in 2012, finishing twelfth in the battery electric prototype class, with an efficiency of 366 km/kWh (approximately 6,000 miles on one UK gallon of fuel). Her engineers are confident that they can improve on her performance this year. Said team member Nicole Miranda: “We are currently installing photovoltaic panels on Peggie's shell that can increase her efficiency - if the weather is on our side! Also, Peggie will be much lighter this year as we are working hard on lowering the weight of both mechanical and electrical components.”

Dr Malcolm McCulloch, Director of the Institute for Carbon and Energy Reduction in Transport who is leading the project, commented: “Events like the Eco marathon provide a valuable opportunity to showcase the latest technologies incorporated into these innovative prototypes, as well as to share knowledge and expertise.”

Over several days, teams make up to four attempts to travel the furthest on the equivalent of one litre of fuel. Cars drive ten laps around the circuit at an average speed of 25 km/h. Organisers calculate their energy efficiency based on a joulmeter installed in each vehicle and name a winner in each class and for each energy source.

Off-track awards are given for other achievements including safety, teamwork, design, marketing and technical innovation. The Oxford team is competing in several of these categories as well as participating in the Shell Student Energy Challenge in partnership with National Geographic.

PEGGIE will implement a unique powertrain system which includes:

  • High efficiency geared motor.
  • Ultra low resistance tyres
  • Lightweight carbon fibre chassis
  • Lithium-ion battery technology.
  • Low-drag aerodynamic shape
  • Phone application to optimize driving style.
  • Clutch system that will enable free-wheeling and regenerative breaking

The ‘new look Peggie’ is to be revealed at a public event in Oxford on Friday, May 10th at 5 pm at the Royal Oak in Woodstock Road.

Photo by Shell Eco-Marathon