For the past 3 months, I have been on sabbatical & away from WSO2. During this period, I got the privilege of working with Team Vega, which is building a fully electric supercar. It was a great opportunity for me since anything to do with vehicles is my passion. The car is being 100% hand built, with around 95% of the components being manufactured locally in Sri Lanka.
The work on the car is progressing nicely. The images below show the plug which will be used to develop a mold. The mold in turn, will be used to develop the body panels. The final product will have Carbon Fiber body panels.
The vehicle chassis is a space frame. This provides the required strength & rigidity, as well as ease of development using simple fabrication methods. The following images show the space frame chassis of Vega.
The following image shows the 450 HP motors coupled with a reduction gear box that powers Vega. This setup will power the rear wheels. The wheels are not coupled in any sort, and differential action is controlled via software. You can see the gear box in the center, and the two motors on either side of it.
|450 HP motor & motor controller|
|450 HP motor|
One of the highlights of this vehicle is its mechanical simplicity. The vehicles uses very little mechanical parts compared to traditional vehicles, and all the heavy lifting is done by the electronics & software. There will be around 25 micro-controllers that communicate via CAN bus. Most of the actuation & monitoring will be via messaging between these micro-controllers.
The power required is supplied by a series of battery packs. The battery packs are built using 3.3V Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4) cells. This cell has high chemical stability under varying conditions. There is a battery management system which monitors the batteries & handles charging of the batteries.
|A single LiFePO4 cell|
|Battery module with cooling lines|
|A single battery module mounted on the Vega chassis|
When it comes to electric vehicle charging, there are two leading standards; J1772 & CHAdeMO. The team is also building chargers which will be deployed is various locations. The image below shows a Level 2 charger. There are 3.3kW & 6.5kW options available. 1 hour of charging using this charger will give a range of 25Km on average.
The image below shows the super charger that is being built. There are 12.5kW & 25kW options available at the moment. This charger can charge the battery up to 80% of its capacity within a period of 20 minutes.
With electric vehicles gradually gaining popularity in Sri Lanka & the rest of the world, it has become a necessity to deploy chargers in public locations. This leads to a new problem of managing & monitoring chargers, as well as billing for charging. OCPP (Open Charge Point Protocol) is a specification which has been adopted by a number of countries & organizations to carry out these tasks. The Vega chargers will also support this standard.
|CAD diagrams of the Vega supercar (in the background)|
|Last day with Team Vega|
Update: Video introducing Vega
Update: The project has gained so much attention, even the President of Sri Lanka, Maithreepala Sirisena visited the Vega premises.
|President Sirisena checking out a 3D printed replica of Vega|