The building of an electric car

Electric car developed with support of Eldorado Institute is an international champion

UNICAMP E-Racing team, composed by undergraduate and graduate students of the engineering courses of Campinas State University (UNICAMP), which got financial and development support from Eldorado in the making of an electric car, was the champion in the FORMULA SAE ELECTRIC competition to Engineering students. The team was the only Brazilian representative and ran against several Canadian, European and north-American universities. Besides, the team got the greatest punctuation in the history of the competition, reaching 985 in 1000 possible points.

Held since 1979, Formula SAE is a traditional competition organized by the Society for Automotive Engineers and summons Engineering students from all over the world. José Eduardo Bertuzzo, hardware manager at Eldorado, who supported the project since its inception, highlights the importance of the deed. “There’s a very important lesson in this wonderful accomplishment from UNICAMP E-Racing team. Well-trained Mechanical and Electrical Engineering students, in an adequate infrastructure and with access to components and materials available to all teams built a car of electric traction which left behind its counterparts from great American universities. Congratulations to the members of UNICAMP E-Racing team!”, he stated.

Eldorado decided to sponsor the project because of its innovative features. “The project had a great appeal, for it was about an electric car – something innovative and with a future”, says Electronic engineer Jean Marcos Andery Baracat, who coordinates the project within Eldorado.

The UNICAMP team asked for financial support in order to buy the car’s soul, or the electric engine. The controllers (which enable the vehicle’s acceleration and deceleration), batteries and other pieces would have to be imported. Besides financial help, Eldorado researchers gave technical support in the electrical development of the car. “Since most of the students involved are from Mechanical Engineering, they aren’t deft with electricity-based systems in the vehicle. Thus the importance of Eldorado’s support”, says Bacarat. In order to produce some mechanical pieces, Eldorado has also made possible a partnership with Tecnometal, which is now supporting the project.

Flying over success

The partnership between Eldorado and UNICAMP E-Racing began in 2012. Since its inception, results from E-2012 prototype, adorably nicknamed “Formula” (name that didn’t come by chance), have shown impressive.

UNICAMP’s electric car “flies low”. It’s able to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in only over four seconds. Compared to Ferrari Enzo, one of the fastest classics in Italian Scuderia, “Formula” loses for only about 0,3 seconds.

“Formula” has been drawn to under the limelight since its creation, having won the competition organized by the Mobility Engineers Society in Brazil (SAE Brasil). Besides that, the prototype also run for the REI-Recognition to Excellence and Innovation prize, promoted by Automotive Business publication.

“Formula” features

The car has an axial flux-type engine – the latest technology in electric engines in the world, developed by Oxford Yasa Motors, a company that was bred within Oxford University, UK. Its structure is made of ASI Steel 1020 and the body is made of glass fiber, weighing a total of 227kg with a length of 2,8 meters.

“If compared to a conventional 1,0 car, its engine is almost twice as light and 50% more potent”, explains engineer Jean Marcus Baracat, who supports the project from Eldorado’s side. Another highlight is the high stability level in curves. “We found a way of positioning the batteries very close to the ground”, says Diego Bravo, senior student in Mechanical Engineering and one of the leaders of the team. “Because of that, the car’s gravity center is located right under it and that’s why we could get more stability in curves”, he completes.