The student team InMotion has presented its movable electric race car for long-distance running. The race car can be fully charged in a very short time – 12 minutes – thanks to the self-designed cooling method.
InMotion began building the electric race car three years ago, which is currently being developed by a total of 35 students. During testing on Circuit Zandvoort, the car was already driving 225 kilometers per hour, and according to models, it can even reach 300 kilometers per hour. The battery pack is special. It has the same capacity as a standard Tesla Model 3 (58 kWh), but charges twice as fast in twelve minutes. As far as we know, this is the only electric long-distance race car that can do it. The team is now further developing the battery pack with the aim of reducing the charging time to a few minutes.
The secret lies in the cooling of the battery pack, explains team manager Ewout Timmermans. “When a battery is charged, a lot of heat is released. The battery cells cannot handle that. Above 45 degrees, they decompose fairly quickly. As a result, the car loses its range and needs to be charged more often. In addition, the risk of short circuits and fire increases if the battery overheats. ”
Therefore, the team has developed a cooling method where cooling plates filled with coolant are placed between the modules with cells. In this way, they draw heat out of the battery pack, so that the battery can be charged faster without overheating. “We are now even refining the technique by cooling at the cellular level, so we can recharge within minutes. Since there are about 360 cells in a battery pack, it is quite a challenge, ”explains Timmermans.
InMotion wants to challenge the current car industry with its very short loading time of its racing car. By demonstrating that the charging time of electric cars can be drastically shortened – and can be compared to filling up with petrol – they hope to remove the barrier to electric driving and make the world a little greener. Timmermans: “In a race, you expose the car and the battery pack to the most extreme conditions. If you can shorten the charging time on a track during a long-distance race, it should definitely work on the road. ”
According to Maarten Steinbuch, professor of mechanical engineering at TU / e, the students’ contributions are valuable for companies that focus on green mobility. “InMotion is driving us towards a sustainable future in a sustainable and innovative way. Their technology and measurement models may be of interest to the industry in the future, for example to drastically reduce the charging time of electric trucks or aircraft.”
Electric race car
The technology has been tested at the research institute TNO, among other places. Professional drivers such as Kevin Abbring, Bas Schothorst and Christiaan Frankenhout performed the demo and test rounds. The race car also meets the technical standards of the LMP3, the entry-level prototype class in 24 Hours of Le Mans, designed for young drivers and new teams.
The dream is to finally participate in this legendary 24-hour race. Timmermans: “But developing a race car does not mean that you as a team have the knowledge to drive it. Therefore, we will first complete a 1-hour race, to build from there. Hopefully one day we will be at the start of this iconic race. ”
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