Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering Seminar Series

Development of an Internationally Competitive Electric Race Car


Thomas Galbraith


Masters student, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering University of Canterbury

Time & Place

Fri, 10 May 2019 14:00:00 NZST in Link 309 Lecture Theatre


Formula SAE is an international university engineering competition that over 800 teams enter to design, build and race a formula style single seat race car. Since 2016 the University of Canterbury has been
developing electric vehicles to race in the Formula SAE Australasia competition, held in Australia at the end of each year. The University of Canterbury Motorsport (UCM) team has gained considerable prestige
amongst the Formula SAE community for its bold engineering initiatives and highly professional build quality. UCM is currently ranked in the top 25 electric vehicle teams in the world, as well as being the
highest ranked team in New Zealand. The UCM electric vehicle features four independent in-wheel permanent magnet 3-phase synchronous motors, coupled to the wheel by a custom designed planetary
gearbox. The 120 kW quadruple motor and inverter package is powered by an entirely student designed and built lithium-ion battery pack, capable of providing the vehicle with enough energy to last the 22 km
Endurance event at full race power. The car is also able to accelerate from 0-100 km/h in under three seconds. The student developed low voltage electrical systems in the vehicle are responsible for interfacing
with the driver, monitoring critical components and controlling the four motors through vehicle dynamic algorithms carried out in real time on the vehicle control unit. This presentation will give an overview of the
electrical subsystems required to build a 4WD Formula SAE electric race car and how the University of Canterbury manages to compete with the best in the world.