This year, the UNC Charlotte Department of Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Science has undertaken the project of designing and building a Formula SAE EV car to attend the FSAE competition in the Spring of 2023. Formula SAE is a Student Design Competition in which students design, build, and race a single-seater, open-wheeled race car. With the automotive industry leaning towards electrification, the 49ers Racing team made the decision to venture into a new series of competition in Electric Vehicles.
While a new venture is great for student training and education, it comes with many new costs as the challenge presented has a vastly different solution to that of an internal combustion vehicle.
Our team operates on a very strict budget every year and this year our total cost has been estimated at $40,000. With money allocated for all sub-teams, our budget is broken down as follows: $25,000 for powertrain, $3,900 for Vehicle Dynamics, $4,000 for Chassis, $3,150 for Low Voltage Electronics, and $1,700 for Ergonomics.
This is year's powertrain team will be designing and building a complete powertrain system that includes: liquid cooling and 600 18650-batteries. The system will have 420 Volts Maximum and a 6.48kW/h battery configuration. The car is projected to have a max output of 167 HP, driven by a single Emrax 228 AC synchronous motor in a rear-wheel-drive configuration. This year's Accumulator pack Design
Our Chassis team is currently designing our chassis with considerations specifically for a single-seater electric vehicle. Ergonomic measurements were taken from our drivers to assure optimal packaging efficiency while balancing the structural requirements for protecting the powertrain components. The chassis is designed for 4130 Chromoly steel tubing with a 1 inch outer diameter, which provides ease of manufacturing and design. The chassis will be CNC notched and bent by VR3 Engineering, and will be assembled in house.
This year's current chassis design Our vehicle dynamics team is currently working on adjusting our suspension points by using kinematic simulations to find optimal pushrod length and overall geometry, so we can have a pushrod-type suspension with 2.5" of travel. We will be machining our own uprights using 6061 aluminum. The rockers for the pushrod suspension will be made from 7075 aluminum.
This year's current suspension designOur aeronautics team is currently focused on running simulations and thermal calculations for the cooling of our motors, batteries, and all electronics while minimizing drag and optimizing downforce. They are also designing and fabricating a custom body kit that will be very research-intensive.
Our Low voltage electronics team allows the team to monitor and troubleshoot issues, and improve performance. Some of the items that fall under the low voltage electronic category include AEM VCU 300 engine management system, data-logging sensors such as speed, acceleration, and G-force, and safety sensors that disable the car in the event of a failure. The low voltage team plans, designs, and manufactures a wiring harness for the chassis, incorporating sensors for each sub-team, and produces feedback data in an easy to interpret form. The wiring harness is manufactured in-house at UNCC by the Formula SAE EV team, using motorsport grade wires, connectors, and sensors.
The main goal of this project is to build a cutting-edge race car and give the opportunity to learn and engage in real-world applications and projects for developing engineers and to mentor other students.
Donation Level Special Considerations:
Green and above: All donations and donors to be listed on a plaque to be displayed publicly at UNC Charlotte
Silver and above: A graphic will be included as part of the livery of the car recognizing the donor.
Gold and above: A personalized thank you, and if requested a Resume package of our top engineers within the program.
Donate today to be a part of the future of 49er Racing at UNC Charlotte!
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