Electric Car Adds Buzz to UTA Race Event

For the first time, an electric race car will take on the combustion engine FSAE racers at the 16th Annual Texas Autocross Weekend.

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ELECTRIC CARS CAN GET TO FULL TORQUE MORE QUICKLY THAN A COMBUSTION ENGINE


One of the parking lots at the University of Texas at Arlington again will be a mini version of Texas Motor Speedway July 9-10, and, this year, one of the fastest race cars likely will be the quietest.

For the first time, one of the UTA competition cars in the 16th Annual Texas Autocross Weekend will be an all-electric racer powered by four student-designed, in-wheel motors. The video below is from last year’s event.

It is expected to compete against cars built to Formula Society of Automotive Engineers specifications that will compete head-to-head for speed, handling and “college bragging rights,” on Lot 49 east of South Cooper Street and south of Doug Russell Road, according to a UTA press release.

“We’re expecting this year to be a watershed year for our student racing teams because electric cars point to the future,” Bob Woods, professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, said in the release. He is a longtime adviser to the university’s FSAE student racing team.

“If the course were a straightaway, the electric motor-equipped car would win.” – Bob Woods

And, don’t expect the electric race car to be at a disadvantage to its combustion-engine competitors.

“If the course were a straightaway, the electric motor-equipped car would win,” Woods said. “Electric motors can get to full torque at a very low speed. You don’t have the build-up you need in a gasoline-powered engine.”

The competition will feature 14 teams and 25 cars representing the University of Texas at Austin, Texas A&M University, University of Houston, University of North Texas, The University of Texas at San Antonio, University of New Mexico, University of Kansas, Auburn University, Oklahoma State University, UTA, and others, according to the release.

The Formula SAE Series was started in 1979 and it promotes careers and excellence in engineering by allowing students to get out of the classroom to apply textbook theories into real work experience, according to the SAE International website.

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A student racer prepares to compete in last year’s Annual Texas Autocross Weekend for the University of Texas at Arlington’s FSAE team. [Photo Courtesy the University of Texas at Arlington]

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A student racer talks with teams members as they prepare to compete in last year’s Annual Texas Autocross Weekend for the University of Texas at Arlington’s FSAE team. [Photo Courtesy the University of Texas at Arlington]

 


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