The Chalmers Formula Student Team – which during the academic year designed a race car with electric motor operation – tested its creation in three European competitions: in the Netherlands, Austria and, during August, in Spain.
That is more competitions than previously – usually Chalmers participates in just two.
"We thought it worked well, and it was so fun to drive that we attended another competition," says Josefine Johansson, one of the team members, and its communicator.
There are races throughout the year, since many universities have teams that work continuously with their vehicles. At Chalmers, there is a new team that takes over each fall, and then competes only in the summer.
At the competitions it's not just about driving fast. The event is divided into static and dynamic stages.
“In the static competition, for example, you present your work, describe your design concept, the cost for the project and more. Then you get judged on it,” says Josefine Johansson.
Top three in Austria
The dynamic stages include accelerating over 75 meters, and driving a figure-of-eight lap in the shortest possible time. There is also an endurance test, where the challenge is to drive 22 laps around a track with the car.
"It's tough – the equipment or battery may break," says Josefine Johansson.
The team achieved greatest success in the race in Austria, when they landed a third place.
“It was really fun. It was tough to handle the batteries in 35-degree heat. But we have a good cooling system,” says Josefine.
In the summer's first competition, in the Netherlands, the Chalmers team came fifth, after having had some problems with the engine and a sensor. But in both summer competitions, the team achieved their goal, which was to be the top 5 in the competitions in which they participated.
During the weekend of the 25-26 August, the final competition for Chalmers Formula Student was held in Spain. Although the result – an 11th place – was a disappointment, it should be seen in the light of the fact that only half of the team could participate, and that they were still able to complete all the stages.
Time to pass on the knowledge
Now the final phase of an intense year is ahead.
"You spend more time on this than the points it gives, but you gain a lot of other things. At Chalmers courses we learn things theoretically, but here we get to do it practically: designing things that will work in reality”, says Josefine Johansson.
And now is the time for the next team of Chalmers students to follow in their footsteps.
"After the project, we will finish the course, and some of us will help with the recruitment of the new team, and to pass on our knowledge," says Josefine Johansson.
Text: Erik Krång