Students at the University of Michigan have teamed up with RHM Fluid Power and Sun Hydraulics for a project involving the use of hydraulics in the Xebra PK Truck.  The Xebra is an Electric Vehicle (EV) which uses an hydraulic launch system to store energy in order to assist the propulsion of the vehicle.  This allows the main drive batteries to then propel the vehicle in a more efficient manner resulting in increased lifetime and range.

UM Manifold                 P4150016_Small

U of M has been working on this car for several semesters in which students have improved various aspects of the design.  In the Winter 2010 semester, the students were given the task of making the vehicle more suitable for real world use, which meant improving the serviceability and simplicity.  The students chose to focus on simplfying the layout of the vehicle to allow for easier access of critical vehicle components.  This is where RHM Fluid Power and Sun Hydraulics came into play!

Through a generous donation by Sun Hydraulics, RHM Fluid Power was able to utilize Sun’s QuickDesign software in order to create a custom manifold assembly that simplified the layout and increased serviceability.  This improved the design of the Xebra in several ways including:

  • Battery overhead space created – time to change battery reduced from 1+ day to less than 3 hours!
  • Hydraulic circuitry simplified – overall number of hydraulic fittings reduced from 85 to less than 75!

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For more information, contact Hasan Shahid at or 734.326.5400 


  (From left to right….Yuntoo Chen, Andres Diaz, Hasan Shahid (RHM), Eric Kim, Kevin Lyons)

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