RVCE's Ashwa Racing team launches prototype of 1st electric race car

RVCE's Ashwa Racing team launches prototype of 1st electric race car

After nearly 15 years of successfully building race cars and taking part in international competitions, the Ashwa Racing team of the RV College of Engineering on Saturday launched  its first prototype of an electric race car.

The student club's 13th combustion engine race car named AMF RZX8-CO and fourth hybrid engine race car named AMF-RZX8-HY have also been launched. The two cars will take part in international competitions, including Formula Hybrid which will be held in May in New Hampshire, USA.

The electric prototype weighs 200 kg, has a top speed of 90 kmph and uses Lithium Iron Phosphate batteries.

Pranave Nanda, a third-year mechanical engineering student who heads the Electric Car team, said they wanted to contribute towards India's goal of switching over to electric vehicles by 2030. This year, they have made a prototype but won't take it to any competitions.

The team intends to have an electric race car ready in time for Formula Bharat, an engineering design competition for students, which will introduce the electric car category in 2019 for the first time.

"Cars are seen as something for the mechanical department but with the electric car, we want to involve as many departments as we can, such as electronics  and  communication, electrical  and  electronics, and telecom," Pranave said.

In the long run, the Ashwa Racing team intends to bring out a modular, open-source electric vehicle for passenger use by 2020. Keeping with global trends, the student teams will also work towards creating an autonomous or self-driving car by 2020.

Dr Ravindra S Kulkarni, faculty advisor for the team and head of the aerospace engineering department, said the team had come a long way since its inception. "There were times when at the launch, they have not been able to demonstrate the car, but today, they were even able to display manoeuvring tricks. We started with combustion cars and in 2014 we built a hybrid car. In the future, we will move towards self-driven and fully electric,"  he added.  

 

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