2010 Formula SAE car could get updated with electric powertrain

The University of Washington built a Formula SAE car in 2010. It had some impressive specs – a 0-60 time of 3.6 seconds, for example – but it's already due for an upgrade. See, last year's car used a 600cc Honda engine and a six-speed transmission to move the 480 pounds (curb weight) in a hurry, but now some of the team members want to upgrade the little racer to an "all-electric, eco-friendly, racing machine." Incorporating battery swapping and fast-charging lithium batteries, the conversion is part of a student capstone project that is looking for some financial assistance. The funding request is up on Start Some Good, and if you know anything about crowdsourced funding, then you can understand the idea of a "tipping point goal" ($5,000) where the project will move forward and a "total funding goal" ($7,800) that will allow a better charger and more battery cells.

The overall idea for the race care is a clever one, since the batteries can be fully charged off-board faster than the car can use the energy contained within them as it spins 'round the track. So, you race to your hearts content, come into the pit stop for a fresh pack and then speed on your way. On top of having fun and learning, the project hopes "to start a new legacy at the University of Washington" since the car could some day race in the Formula SAE Hybrid or Formula Student Electric contests. If you're interested, you can follow the project on Twitter or Facebook and perhaps thrown them some cash here.

Share This Photo X