Students of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras on Monday launched the first electric formula racing car built completely by them.
Built completely by the ‘Team Raftar’ as the group of students like to call themselves, the formula car ‘RF23’ is the result of a one-year-long process involving design, manufacturing, and testing, the IIT said.
In terms of performance, the students expect to see significant improvements in speed and lap times compared to the earlier Internal Combustion Engine model due to the higher power delivered by an electric drive.
The IIT youngsters have given themselves an ambitious target. Team Raftar aims to become the best Formula Student team in the world.
It intends to promote Formula student culture in India with continuous innovation and sustainable technological advancement at its core. As a Formula Student Team, Raftar specializes in designing, building, and racing a high-performance race car every year to compete in Formula Student competitions against top engineering institutions across the world.
Super 45 build the vehicle
Team Raftar comprises 45 students from various disciplines and is one of the competition teams at IIT Madras’s Centre for Innovation (CFI).
“The shift from combustion to the electric vehicle was just as drastic as it was necessary, keeping in line with the global trend of moving towards sustainable transportation. With the global electric vehicle industry still in its nascent state, the potential for growth and technological advancement in this arena is huge,” said Prof V Kamakoti, Director, IIT Madras.
The team will be participating in the Formula Bharat event, scheduled to be held in January 2023 at the Kari Motor Speedway in Coimbatore.
Best in the world
The team also aims to take this car to the world’s most prestigious Formula Student event, Formula Student Germany in the August of 2023 to pit itself against the best teams from around the world, vying for a place on the podium.
Congratulating the students, Prof Satyanarayanan Seshadri, Faculty Advisor, Team Raftar-IIT Madras, said,
“Raftar will soon become a platform to build future innovations such as driverless cars and connected mobility technology. ‘RFR 23’ showcases the endless hours and efforts taken by each and every member of the team over the past year. This car is a culmination of the research, innovation, and persistence demonstrated by the team.”
Having started the year with a bang by securing first place in Formula Bharat Virtuals Championship and numerous technical awards in the Pi-EV Concept Challenge, Team Raftar hopes to carry the momentum forward to its first offline competition in the Electric category.
Elaborating on their key goals, Karthik Karumanchi, Student Team Captain, Team Raftar-IIT Madras, said the primary focus was to build a safe, sustainable and reliable electric vehicle.
“We approached this goal by taking a look at the issues currently faced in the industry and trying to devise innovative solutions for them. We recognized the need for proper thermal management of the battery, a robust data logging and visualization interface, and a highly accurate State-of-charge estimator for the battery pack. We based our projects on finding solutions to these problems and incorporating them into ‘RFR 23’,” he said.