Date of Award

Spring 2024

Document Type

Restricted Thesis

Terms of Use

© 2024 Justin Chai and Benjamin Horvat. All rights reserved. Access to this work is restricted to users within the Swarthmore College network and may only be used for non-commercial, educational, and research purposes. Sharing with users outside of the Swarthmore College network is expressly prohibited. For all other uses, including reproduction and distribution, please contact the copyright holder.

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Engineering Department

First Advisor

E. Carr Everbach


This E90 project was focused on designing, assessing, and fabricating components for a new hydrogen-powered vehicle aiming for participation in the Shell Eco-Marathon. By completing this project, we wanted to gain experience in the design of vehicles and vehicle systems with an energy-efficiency-focused design. This includes a reimagining of the materials and methods used to construct the chassis, building out calculation models to understand how design decisions, such as weight changes and material property shifts, affect the overall efficiency of the vehicle, and providing proof of concept vehicle elements like a new rear suspension and hydraulic braking system. Overall, the team concluded that the new chassis should be fabricated using wrapped carbon fiber members with a hybrid aluminum insert and carbon fiber reinforced 3D printed collar system for the joints. Alongside the successes on the chassis fabrication and rear suspension implementation on the current 2018 iteration of the Swarthmore hydrogen fuel cell vehicle, the team was also able to quantitatively conclude that weight reduction is the top priority in increasing our overall fuel efficiency and competitiveness. With all the successes of the E90 considered and the monumental amount of learning that resulted from it, we hope that our work attracts more participants to take part in the Shell Eco-Marathon hydrogen fuel cell vehicle project, and we hope to have laid a good foundation so that future teams can run the Swarthmore vehicle at the historic Indy 500 track.