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Formula Hybrid + Electric Prepares Students for an Electrified Future
Mar 29, 2021 | Hagerty
"Formula Hybrid + Electric began in 2006, when students from the Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth College built a hybrid race car and took it to that year’s Formula SAE competition," reports Hagerty. "'The students showed up and the car was promptly disqualified from the competition due to its unfair advantage versus the cars with internal-combustion engines,' recalls Mike Chapman, Director, Formula Hybrid + Electric Competition at the Thayer School. 'So, the Dartmouth Formula Racing students and their advisor, Doug Fraser, came back to Hanover, New Hampshire, and said, "What do we do?" And their solution was to put together their own competition.'
"The event—which is the only such competition for university-level students—has been held at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway since its inception, with teams from countries ranging from Canada, India, Russia, and the United States participating over the years.
"'The teams take a very large set of rules and they work on their cars for anywhere from one to two years,' explains Chapman. 'Once they are at the track, we run them through a whole series of events. Before they are allowed on the track, they have to pass a mechanical tech inspection and electrical tech inspection.' Once the teams are on the track, they compete in acceleration, autocross, and endurance challenges. For the endurance part of the competition, teams have to be able to complete 44 laps of the New Hampshire Motor Speedway road course, for a total of 44 kilometers.
"'In between the track-based events, we also have the presentation events,' says Chapman. 'We have the design event, where students showcase their innovations for the year. And then we also have a project-management component, where the teams put together an initial project plan, an interim project plan and a final project plan.'"
..."Chapman and [Coordinating Manager of the Formula Hybrid Competition Jessica] Kinzie are looking forward to conducting the competition. 'We have sixteen teams entered, and all of the teams from 2020 will be competing with us again,' says Chapman. 'We’re excited to get the teams on track, even if it’s in a virtual format!'"
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