|The University of Western Australia|
|Robotics & Automation Lab|
The UWA Renewable Energy Vehicle Project (REV) hopes to "revolutionise personal transport" by building zero emission vehicles, powered by electricity from renewable sources, charged from any plug point and viable to both the performance and commercial markets. REV is tackling the problems created by rising fuel prices and vehicle pollution head-on. The REV team is comprises Engineering staff and students from The University of Western Australia (UWA), fuelled by a passion for a sustainable future. REV provides a unique opportunity for students to learn and develop multi-disciplinary teamwork plus innovative, design, leadership, management, marketing, finance and practical skills.
In 2008, we have completed our first EV, the REV ECO, a four-wheel, five-seater commuter vehicle, designed for sustained performance over typical commute distances. In 2009, we have converted the REV RACER, a two-seater performance car using a high performance AC motor and regenerative braking. In 2010, we are working on a single-seater electric Formula SAE race car.
Brochures for Download
REV Vehicle Projects
The vehicles that clutter our freeways today are completely dependent on fossil fuels, which create major pollution issues and are fast running out. In recent years, the price of those fuels has also risen sharply. Hence the development of renewable energy technologies - that is, ways of powering a car without relying on petrol or diesel - has become crucial.
The vehicles that we are developing are specifically designed to be low-weight and are highly aerodynamic. This will make it highly efficient in its use of energy, without sacrificing convenience, performance or style. All our cars are road registered, meaning they can be driven using a standard driver's licence!
Unlike other 'concept' electric cars that never amount to more than prototypes, our cars are ready to drive and look very much like any other car you might find on the road. To prove this we are using existing production cars as a base and converting them to use an electric motor as its sole source of propulsion.
REV was re-started in 2008 by Professor Dr. Thomas Braunl (UWA Robotics&Automation, UWA Elec. & Comp. Eng.) and Dr. Kamy Cheng (UWA Mech. Eng.) after a precursor project had looked at hydrogen technologies. In recent years the viability of a hydrogen economy has been questioned and it seems that electric vehicles are stepping up to the role. Electrical cars are far simpler, more cost effective and easy to charge from any ordinary power point.
In short, we'll prove that a sustainable transportation future is possible.
As a result, much of our day-to-day personal transport is extremely inefficient, leading to higher emissions that can contribute to global warming. Although public transport is available, our sprawling suburbs often make it slow and impractical. Our geography and weather patterns mean we have access to almost unlimited energy resources in the form of solar, wind and hydro power, but we continue to pollute our atmosphere by consuming dwindling reserves of fossil fuels, rather than making use of renewable energy.
Because of all these factors, the UWA REV project has set out to build two cars with which we can change people's thinking about renewable energy.
A frequent criticism on electric cars is that although they are zero-emission vehicles in principle, the energy for charging must come from somewhere, possibly dirty energy sources.
The UWA, the REV project monitors energy generation from a set of grid-connected solar panels mounted on the Ideal House facility, while also logging all charging activities for the REV cars. As we are generating completely green energy from the solar panels and using less energy for recharging, we can claim that our cars are truly zero-emission vehicles.
Hourly updates are available on the REV power logging website.