Publication Detail

Design and Development of the UC Davis FutureTruck


Research Report

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Suggested Citation:
Meyr, Nathaniel, Brian Huff, Christopher Cardé, Jason Parks, Robert Schurhoff, Dahlia Garas, Syta Saephan, Mark Alexander, Mark Duvall, Andrew A. Frank (2001) Design and Development of the UC Davis FutureTruck. Institute of Transportation Studies, University of California, Davis, Research Report UCD-ITS-RR-01-05

The University of California, Davis FutureTruck team redesigned a 2000 Chevrolet Suburban as a Hybrid Electric Vehicle to meet the following goals: reduce fuel cycle greenhouse gas emissions by 66%, increase vehicle fuel economy to double that of the stock Suburban, meet California's Super Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle standard, and qualify for substantial Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle credits in California. Sequoia meets these goals with an efficient powertrain, improved component systems, and an advanced control system.

Sequoia utilizes two independent powertrains to provide Four-Wheel Drive and achieve stock towing capacity. The primary powertrain combines a 1.9L gasoline engine inline with a 75 kW brushless DC motor driving the rear wheels. This powertrain configuration is simple, compact, reliable, and allows flexibility in control strategy. The secondary powertrain employs a 75 kW brushless DC motor to drive the front differential. Together, the two powertrains allow Sequoia to achieve high efficiency under normal operating conditions while matching stock vehicle performance at high load. A 29 kWh nickel metal hydride battery pack powers the electric motors, providing up to a 107 km all-electric range. Sequoia's superior fuel economy, low cost of operation, and performance, combined with aerodynamic innovations, telematics systems, and other consumer features make it a desirable and competitive vehicle in today's market.