The Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT-M) unveiled its first electric racing car on Monday. The race car has been developed by a team of 45 students from across 10 departments. The EV car has the capacity to go from 0-100 km in four seconds and touch a maximum of 160km.
The vehicle, ‘RFR23’ will participate in the Formula Bharat event to be held in January 2023 at the Kari Motor Speedway in Coimbatore. The students aim to take their car to the Formula Student Germany event to be held in August next year.
The students had developed the car through simulation during the COVID-19 pandemic period, and later built it in the physical mode, said Institute director V. Kamakoti, who unveiled the car. The vehicle is an improvement on the earlier editions, also built by students. It took the students a year to build the car
The aim of the exercise is to understand how to improve future generation of automobiles, Mr. Kamakoti explained. “Any technology must be stress-tested fully. We are stress-testing the battery to gain insights about the battery efficiency for other vehicles,” the director explained.
“The shift from combustion to electric vehicle was just as drastic as it was necessary. The global EV industry is still in its nascent stage and the potential for growth and technological advancement in this arena is huge,” he said, adding that the next stage is to develop autonomous (driverless) vehicles.
The students aim to participate in the driverless car race category by 2025.
The EV uses the Shakti microprocessor, indigenously developed by Mr. Kamakoti and his team. The microprocessor controls all the parameters in the car.
Sathyanarayanan Seshadri, advisor to the student team, said, “Raftar will soon become a platform to build future innovations. This car is a culmination of the research, innovation and persistence demonstrated by the team.”
Student team captain Karthik Karumanchi said the focus was to build a safe, sustainable and reliable EV. The team tried to devise innovative solutions for the issues the industry faced. The focus was on proper thermal management of the battery, a data logging and visualisation interface and accurate state-of-charge estimator for the battery pack.