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Combustion or electric race car? UC Motorsport says why not both?

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For the first time, University of Canterbury Motorsport (UCM) students have designed and built two state-of-the-art race cars to enter in the highly competitive international Formula Student event this summer – one electric race car and the other driven by a more conventional combustion engine.

The team of UC students entering two Formula-style race cars in the hotly contested competition, 6 - 10 December at Winton Motor Raceway, Victoria, Australia, will be vying for supremacy with hundreds of students from around the world.The UC students’ electric race car is the only four-wheel-drive electric race car designed and built in New Zealand. The UCM combustion race car has been sponsored by Triumph Motorcycles, which provided the team with three-cylinder engines.UCM team project leader and Commerce student Jacob Ewing says the team can’t wait to get the innovative Kiwi race cars on the track in Melbourne next month to show the world what they can do.“This project has been an unreal experience, juggling managing an international motorsport team with coursework and exams as well,” Jacob says.“I worry that my life will seem a little slow after graduating from UC, but I’m looking forward to the next door opening.”Formula Student is an international engineering-design Ccompetition where more than 600 university racing teams from around the world design, construct and race single-seat race cars.Faculty advisor to the UCM team, UC Design Engineer Bruce Robertson says that this has been a great year for the Canterbury students, in the fifth year UC has competed in the Formula Student contest.“Building an EV and a combustion car has been a massive learning opportunity for the team,” he says.“We’re not yet sure which is quicker on the track. Most are preferring the sound of the combustion car, but four silent electric motors will take some beating.”

  • Source: A University of Canterbury release