22.08.2016 change 22.08.2016

Cracow University of Technology students are building a unique car

Electric car, similar to Formula 1 cars, is being built by students of Cracow University of Technology. According to the designers it will be a unique vehicle, because Polish students have never before designed an electric car specifically for Formula Student (SAE).

Designers and engineers of the car are members of 20-person team PK Mech Power, composed mainly of students of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Cracow University of Technology.

"This is the first Polish car with electric drive for this race. So far, Polish students competed in this race with cars with internal combustion engines" - told PAP team leader Paweł Kwiatkowski.

Team member Maria Wójcicka emphasised that while Poles have already built electric cars, that can not be compared, because each is built for a specific competition, and each event is different. For comparison, the SAE regulations have 182 pages, and, for example, the Greenpower Corporate Challenge regulations - 14 pages.

"Designers and engineers are restricted by regulations of specific competitions" - said Wójcicka and noted that the Cracow University of Technology car is innovative. "We are building everything from scratch, we do not have any example that we could use. We need to develop everything anew. That is why work on the project took so much time - two years" - the student told PAP.

The car design has already been completed. The students have began to build - they are working on a steel frame of the vehicle and doing the computing work on components. The appearance of the car will be a reference to the Polish eagle.

The student vehicle will include innovative technical solutions. Engineers plan that it will accelerate to 100 km/h in less than 2.5 seconds and drive 22 km on a single charge.

Formula SAE is a series of international competitions, in which students under the banner of their schools build racing cars and present them during races at circuits in Austria, Spain, Germany, the UK and Italy. Outside Europe the event takes place in Brazil, the US, Australia and Japan. Part of the competition takes place on the circuits of Formula 1 (Silverstone, Circuit de Catalunya). It is possible that future edition will be held in Poland.

During the competition, student teams are judged in two aspects - static and dynamic, allowing to assess not only the car\'s sport performance, but also its reliability, environmental issues, safety, production costs, and even the project promotion by the team. "The maximum speed is not the determinant of this competition" - noted Kwiatkowski.

Static evaluation includes the following events: technical survey (the project\'s compliance with the rules), cost and manufacturing (assessment of a compromise between performance and manufacturing costs), presentation (business presentation of the project), design (assessment of the project team\'s skills based on the analysis of designed elements).

The dynamic events include: acceleration (car acceleration over a distance of 75 m), skid-pad (time on the track in the shape of the number 8), autocross (time on the track with straight sections and corners), efficiency (reliability and fuel consumption), endurance (the main race on the track over a distance of 22 km).

"In the coming competition, we hope that we will not only be the first Polish electric car, but also the first at the finish line" - concluded Wójcicka.

Students admit that the construction of the car is expensive. They need approx. 150 thousand zlotys and ask sponsors for support.

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