Ohio State University Center for Automotive Research

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The OSU Center for Automotive Research.

The Ohio State University Center for Automotive Research (OSU CAR) is an interdisciplinary research center within the Ohio State University College of Engineering. OSU CAR focuses on advanced electric propulsion and energy storage systems; advanced engines and alternative fuels for reduced fuel consumption and emissions; intelligent transportation and vehicular communication systems; autonomous vehicles; noise, vibrations, and dynamics; vehicle chassis systems; and vehicle and occupant safety.


OSU CAR is housed in a 35,000-square-foot (3,300 m2) facility located along the Columbus, Ohio Kinnear Road technology corridor on the west side of The Ohio State University Columbus Campus. OSU CAR facilities include: engines (4) and chassis (2) dynamometer; alternative fuel and exhaust after-treatment labs; combustion and flow labs; battery testing, aging, and characterization facilities; high voltage power electronics testing lab; a networking and communications lab; and high performance computing facilities for modeling and simulation of automotive systems. In addition, OSU CAR operates a fleet of electric, hybrid, fuel cell, and autonomous vehicles. A separate and adjacent 10,000-square-foot (930 m2) facility houses the OSU Motor Sports program, dedicated to student automotive projects. This facility houses the Baja SAE,Buckeye Bullet,Buckeye Current,EcoCAR, and Formula SAE, and Supermileage SAE projects.


Research activities at OSU CAR fall into three broad categories:

  1. optimizing vehicle and powertrains;
  2. employing information, communication, and control technology to improve vehicle safety and functionality;
  3. improve passenger and pedestrian safety and identify injury criteria.

OSU CAR employs 30 full-time professionals, 50 graduate students, and sees the participation of more than 15 faculty, who carry out over $7 million of external research projects annually. OSU CAR research portfolio is a balanced mix of industry and government funding, and offers a broad range of research and engineering services.


Engine Dynamometer at OSU CAR.

Equipment at OSU CAR includes:

  • Heavy duty chassis dynamometer (HEV and PHEV test bed with 2 independently controlled rolls capable of 1000 hp each)
  • Light duty chassis dynamometer
  • Engine dynamometer
  • AV 900 battery test system (capable of 900VDC and 250 kW)
  • High-voltage power electronics lab
  • High-voltage hall and distributed real-time simulation platform (Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering)
  • Glovebox (battery aging research)
  • Battery aging laboratory
  • Machine shop
  • Environmental chambers

Testing and Services[edit]

The Center for Automotive Research provides the commercial and passenger vehicle industry with R&D testing and engineering capabilities related to vehicle electrification. OSU CAR offers a range of experimental facilities supported by a technical staff experienced in battery testing; vehicle design, conversion, and validation; and design and testing of power electronics circuits in automotive applications.

OSU CAR offers services using the heavy duty chassis dynamometer, a light duty dynamometer, battery testing, high voltage testing, concept design services, and more.

OSU Motorsports Projects[edit]

The OSU Center for Automotive Research is the site of the OSU Motorsports student project teams. These six teams (Baja SAE,Buckeye Bullet,Buckeye Electric Motorcycle Race Team,EcoCAR, and Formula SAE, Supermileage SAE projects.

Baja SAE[edit]

The Baja SAE team designs, builds, and races with a single seat, off-road vehicle while marketing the concept of the vehicle to a fictitious firm for production.

Buckeye Bullet[edit]

The Buckeye Bullet is a student organization with the purpose of designing the world's fastest electric land speed racing vehicle.

Buckeye Electric Motorcycle Race Team[edit]

The Buckeye Electric Motorcycle Team is a student team based at the Center for Automotive Research. The purpose is to enhance the development of clean, electric motorcycle technologies. Students will be given the opportunity to learn and as well as be part of an international, professional race team.


EcoCAR is a three-year competition sponsored by the US Department of Energy, General Motors Corporation, and several other organizations and companies from the US and Canada, with the purpose of re-engineering a Saturn Vue using advanced powertrain technologies to minimize energy consumption, emissions, and greenhouse gases.

Formula SAE[edit]

The Formula SAE competition is for SAE student members to conceive, design, fabricate, and compete with small formula-style racing cars.

Supermileage SAE[edit]

The Supermileage competition provides engineering and technology students with a challenging design project that involves the development and construction of a single-person, fuel-efficient vehicle. Vehicles are powered by a small four-cycle engine. The vehicles will run a specified course with the vehicle obtaining the highest combined kilometers per liter (miles per gallon) rating plus design segment points winning the event. Students have the opportunity to set a world fuel economy record and increase public awareness of fuel economy. Engines are donated by Briggs & Stratton.

External links[edit]

Motorsports teams links[edit]

Baja SAE
Buckeye Bullet
Buckeye Current