Electris, inspired by the creative minds of engineers from the Krakow University of Technology, is participating in the construction of an electric car, with which the students plan to compete in the international SAE Formula Student competition. The engineers created the PK MechPower racing team, which will fight for victory in races on legendary tracks, and the company from Małopolska supported the project. Electris made high-quality aluminum suspension components, purchased the electric motor with controller and shared their know-how on electric drives. Here are the effects of our cooperation.
Aluminum components in an electric car
Production of components for electric vehicles is one of the main areas in which we want to develop our company. Cooperating in the project of the car we have followed the footsteps of the largest automotive companies, for which hybrid technology has been a priority for several years. In the course of time this type of drive has gained great popularity all over the world. Our aluminum elements in the extremely fast car are therefore a step towards state-of-the-art solutions and further development of the technology.
Electris collaboration with PK MechPower student team
Our family-owned company has established cooperation with forty engineers from the Krakow University of Technology, who pursue their automotive passions and ideas within the PK MechPower team. The group was established in order to achieve the most important goal – building an electric car to compete in the prestigious international SAE Formula Student competition.
Electris took the project under its patronage and became the main sponsor of the PK MechPower team. Our contribution to the project includes aluminum components, which are essential elements of the electric car. We made, among others, suspension and drive parts, thanks to which the mass of the car can be optimized. Within the framework of cooperation, we also purchased high-end engine for the vehicle and the controller.
Electris – the main sponsor in the electric car project
Participating in a scientific project brings us many benefits. We could provide many employees with the opportunity to increase their competence in the field of developing high-end components for state-of-the-art electric vehicles. As a result, we can effectively pursue a presence in electromobility – a new industry which is developing rapidly. Within the framework of cooperation with PK MechPower we also want to test our new products – water coolers. Moreover, thanks to cooperation in building the car we can learn more about the construction of electric vehicles, and thus understand the needs of the automotive industry and adjust our product offer to them.
As Dawid Knapik, member of Electris Management Board, pointed out, the marketing effect is very important for the company. As the title sponsor, we want to be better recognized and associated with innovation and development of modern and ecological transport – he adds. Dawid Knapik also emphasizes the importance of regional support, which was given to students of Cracow University of Technology without hesitation: As a company originating from Malopolska it was natural for us to want to promote initiatives originating from our region, therefore the offer of cooperation that we received from the university became part of our marketing strategy.
What distinguishes the car of the students of Cracow University of Technology?
The young engineers took care of every detail of the vehicle, which is characterized by above-average performance. Extremely light and durable composites were used to build the suspension of the car. A major achievement of the students was to design a carbon double-wishbone suspension, conduct simulations and test the structure. The composite wishbones were bonded together by aluminum suspension components made in collaboration with Electris.
The students in charge of aerodynamics used advanced airflow stimulation techniques to optimize the car’s skin design. The car is controlled by a network of 32-bit microcontrollers that constantly communicate with each other to ensure the best performance.
As an innovative step, two electric motors are used as part of the car’s propulsion system. This allowed the SAE Formula Student race car to increase its power output, giving it an edge in competitions requiring high acceleration. Translating all this into numbers – the electric drive system generates up to 185 horsepower and 280 Newton meters of torque. No one needed to be convinced that this kind of power output for a 350 kg car would provide extraordinary performance. The fact that the vehicle accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in less than 2 seconds only confirms this.
SAE competition – success of the electric car
The SAE Formula Student races are attended by the best universities and polytechnics from around the world. Teams are divided into two categories based on the type of vehicle propulsion: internal combustion and electric. The annual event is held on the most popular tracks in many countries, including Michigan Speedway, Silverstone, Hockenhaim, Circuit de Barcelona and Hungaroring. The event is attended by representatives from major automotive companies, who are there to score the cars and teams of the students during the various events.
The SAE winning is based on the results of the static and dynamic events, which include acceleration, race, fastest lap, and power efficiency. The static competition, on the other hand, involves evaluating the vehicle design in terms of quality and innovation, cost of construction, and business presentation. Thus, all aspects of the students’ hard work are taken into account. The level of sophistication of the vehicles is best illustrated by their performance. The winner in the electric car category accelerated to 100 km/h in 1.513 seconds.
In 2020, for obvious reasons, the competition was held online. In Poland, competitions were organized for 9 teams. PK MechPower won the Tatuus Championship virtual series, leaving behind, among others, Silesian University of Technology and Rzeszów University of Technology. Cracow students won the Team Classification Championship and the second and third places in the Individual Classification. Next year the engineers are planning to compete in Formula Student Czech Republic, Formula student East in Hungary and Formula Student Germany.