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Electric Race Car Victorious In Student Motorsport Event

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AMZ Racing Team's Formula Student electric racing car (Image: AMZ Racing Team)

AMZ Racing Team's Formula Student electric racing car (Image: AMZ Racing Team)

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Want to know where the next generation of race car engineers are going to come from?

Chances are they'll have taken part in one of the many Formula Student at some point, open to student engineers all over the world with the aim of building and racing a single-seater racing car.

This year--for the first time ever--an electric vehicle has won the UK competition, reports Earth Techling.

In fact, electric cars came first and second, suggesting something of a paradigm shift in the competition--usually dominated by gasoline-powered racers, is this year simply a one-off or the start of electric car dominance?

First place was taken by the AMZ Racing Team from ETH Zurich in Switzerland, followed by German team UAS Zwickau. Cars are judged over a series of different events, including a figure of eight, autocross, acceleration tests, and a 13-mile endurance event.

Additionally, teams are judged on the cars themselves, industry specialists analyzing the engineering and design, a cost and sustainability analysis, a business presentation and a technical and safety inspection.

1,000 points are up for grabs across the car and performance disciplines, the Swiss team taking an impressive 921.3 points overall. UAS Zwickau followed with 851.5 points.

All the more impressive is the fact that just five years ago, teams fielding electric vehicles weren't even able to complete the endurance section of the event. Ironically, it was hot conditions--not usually favored by electric vehicles--that took out some of this year's gasoline favorites.

The results certainly bode well for future Formula Student events, but the organizers aren't ready to let electric vehicles walk away with things.

"We are delighted by this progress but we will have to see what needs to be done in the future to ensure petrol cars remain competitive," said Formula Student Chairman, Jon Hilton.

We're sure many major automakers are thinking along similar lines...

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Comments (4)
  1. ""We are delighted by this progress but we will have to see what needs to be done in the future to ensure petrol cars remain competitive," - you gotta love that line. Nice catch, Antony. Maybe they could just pass a law against competitive electrics, like with Tesla and Virginia.
     
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  2. I too will be interested to see what they mean by "ensure petrol cars remain competitive". Are there existing restrictions on gas drive trains they can remove? Will they handicap electrics or give bonus points to combustion engines? Will they separate them into different race/scoring classes?

    Or will anyone even bother to submit an ICE next year, now that they've seen what electrics can do? If we can raise an entire generation of automotive engineers who believe electric drive is superior, we might actually see change on a global scale.
     
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  3. for dragsters and sprint cars, electric will likely take over.
    The ability to balance, higher P/W and 4 wheel controlled power
    will do a lot.
     
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  4. yeah, but what about the smell of partially burned gasoline? Without that, who'd care?
     
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