Institute for Dynamic Systems and Control

Highly Efficient Fuel Cell Vehicle (PAC-Car II)

Project Details


Start Date:
End Date:



Prof. Lino Guzzella



Prof. Lino Guzzella


Lead Researcher(s):


Additional Participants:


11.02.09 MIT Technology Review
04.02.09 Science Daily
27.01.09 ETH Life
12.10.08 Neue Zürcher Zeitung


PHybE Video on YouTube

This video shows the hybrid pneumatic engine at IMRT in action, the new european driving cycle is emulated. The control and surveillance panels are shown, and the engine sound for different engine modes can be heard.

PHybE Demo

Insert description here.


Add links to related projects or research here.


Realizing a Concept for High Efficiency and Excellent Driveability: The Downsized and Supercharged Hybrid Pneumatic Engine, Dönitz C., Vasile I., Onder C., Guzzella L., SAE 2009-01-1326

Dynamic Programming for Hybrid Pneumatic Vehicles, Dönitz C., Vasile I., Onder, C., Guzzella, L., Proceedings of the American Control Conference 2009

Modelling and Optimizing Two- and Four-Stroke Hybrid Pneumatic Engines, Dönitz C., Vasile I., Onder, C., Guzzella, L., Proc. IMechE, Part D: J. Automobile Eng., Vol. 223, pages 255-280

Pneumatic Hybrid Internal Combustion Engine on the Basis of Fixed Camshafts, Dönitz C., Vasile I., Onder, C., Guzzella, L., Higelin P., Charlet A., Chamaillard Y., Application for European Patent 2007

PAC-Car II is a fuel cell powered electric vehicle built for fuel economy races. It holds the current world record in fuel economy with a mileage of 5385 km per liter of gasoline equivalent. The vehicle was built during two years by four students of the mechanical engineering department doing a project-oriented major on the PAC-Car project, with the assistance of partners from ETH and industry. The four students focused on aerodynamics, light-weight construction, powertrain design and fuel cell control, respectively. Two female students of ETH were driving the vehicle during many tests around Zurich and for the races in France. After breaking the track record in Nogaro/F the World Record was successfully attacked in Ladoux/F during the Shell/Michelin Eco-marathon on the proving grounds of Michelin. The vehicle has a total weight of 29 kg, an average tank-to-wheel efficiency of approximately 50%, rear-wheel drive and steering in order to reduce the frontal area, and its fuel cell is powered by hydrogen. Two low-pressure bottles, containing 1 g of hydrogen each, suffice for one race. The power electronics built in our lab supplies the two driving motors, the compressor for the air supply, the hydrogen recirculation pump, and the water pump. The controllers were developed with Matlab/Simulink and implemented on a real-time target system. Optimal control methodology, together with dynamic programming, were used to derive an optimal driving strategy for each race track, taking into account elevation and demanded average speed. This strategy has to be followed by the driver during the race as well as possible and under consideration of external disturbances like other competitors, wind, etc.

More: PAC-Car II Website


Wichtiger Hinweis:
Diese Website wird in älteren Versionen von Netscape ohne graphische Elemente dargestellt. Die Funktionalität der Website ist aber trotzdem gewährleistet. Wenn Sie diese Website regelmässig benutzen, empfehlen wir Ihnen, auf Ihrem Computer einen aktuellen Browser zu installieren. Weitere Informationen finden Sie auf
folgender Seite.

Important Note:
The content in this site is accessible to any browser or Internet device, however, some graphics will display correctly only in the newer versions of Netscape. To get the most out of our site we suggest you upgrade to a newer browser.
More information

© 2015 ETH Zurich | Imprint | Disclaimer | 2 July 2009