A 1979 Volkswagen Bus successfully converted from gas to electric power is the winner of the Fall 2020 Capstone Design Showcase.
And it wasn’t just any bus—Mechanical Engineering senior and team leader Gracie Cole’s parents bought the VW van brand-new off the lot and it has been in her family ever since. Re-Volt’s goal was to retain the van’s road trip and car camping capabilities while aiming for a 250-mile range and comfortable highway cruising speed of 70 mph.
The customized electrification process included both off-the-shelf components and in-house manufactured items. Other upgrades were made, as well, to modernize the user interface, increase safety, and preserve the rich history of the bus.
Rounding out the winning team were Garrett Shirley, Layton Blankenship, Cesar Chacon, Mason Elliot, Luke Greenidge, Dylan Greenman, Loren Griffeth, Timothy Helmer, Brandon Horgan, Evie Oglesby, Maxwell Porter, Erin Smethers, Alex Vogel and Andrew Wood.