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ChargeCar Community Conversions Practical Electric Commuter Vehicles Now H Ben Brown Illah Nourbakhsh Chris Bartley Jennifer Cross Paul Dille Josh Schapiro Alex Styler Robotics Institute Carnegie Mellon University Pittsburgh Pennsylvania 15213 Abstract The technology for practical short range electric commuter vehicles EVs is here now The ChargeCar project at Carnegie Mellon University aims to exploit today s technology to make efficient clean quiet commuter electric vehicles available to the public while providing a basis for local economic development and increasing public awareness of EVs We have developed a kit of modular components that can be used to convert a conventional gasoline powered car to 100 electric power in a matter of a few days utilizing commercial off the shelf COTS components along with existing manufacturing facilities and automotive garages This kit has been installed and tested in two Honda Civics and has performed well in over 3500 miles of driving The prototype vehicles have a range of 40 miles top speed in excess of 70 mph and charge overnight on any 120 VAC receptacle Present efforts are toward commercializing the manufacturing and conversion process while continuing related research in compound energy sytems e g battery plus ultracapacitor and pursuing educational efforts with the public and local schools I I NTRODUCTION The Community Robotics Education and Technology Empowerment CREATE Lab at Carnegie Mellon University seeks to co design new technology innovations together with outreach and engagement strategies that demonstrate and measure how diverse communities can use creative technology responsibly to catalyze positive social change Ongoing projects include GigaPan Education 1 which uses a lowcost gigapixel imaging robot for cross cultural learning in dozens of countries thanks to partnerships with UNESCO and National Geographic and Robot Diaries 2 which deploys a training program together with programmable robot hardware software

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