University of Hull’s racing car ‘going green’ with electric conversion

A racing car team run by students at the University of Hull is to convert its vehicle to run from electricity.

Image: Astor Film Productions

The Hull Electric Racing Team comprises of a group of engineering students at the University. The team has taken its car to some of the country’s most famous circuits, including competing at the ‘home of British motor racing’ – Silverstone.

The team have now set themselves the task of converting the racing car to become an electric-powered vehicle within two years.

The announcement comes at the same time as the University announces a £100,000 investment in two state-of-the-art formula simulators, providing students with the latest technology to hone their skills.

Jasmine Tolson, Team Principal at Hull Electric Racing Team, said: “Developing an electric vehicle will mean that students can progress their knowledge and understanding outside of a lecture room environment.

“An electric vehicle will benefit the students interested in a career in automation as the industry looks to convert to electric-powered vehicles.

“Although our success is not determined yet, this project will support all the students within the team, providing transferable skills and knowledge to evolve us as engineers and reinforce future career paths.”

The project is in line with the University’s plans to be a carbon neutral campus by 2027.

As part of the switch to run off electricity, the team will replace the racing car’s internal combustion engine with a new electric powertrain.

The process will drastically change the rear end of the car, with alterations having to be made to the chassis and suspension.

The Hull Electric Racing Team hopes to have the conversion to electric fully completed by July 2023.

The University has underlined its support of the Hull Electric Racing Team with the arrival of two cutting-edge simulators.

The technology in the Formula Simulators was developed to train fighter pilots, and has been used by several Formula One teams on a global stage.

Students can programme in the circuits they will be racing on, try out different scenarios and then apply this to their own Formula vehicle.

On race days, data can also be gathered from the vehicle, and a team back at the University of Hull campus can run live tests and make adjustments to the car in real time.

Professor Ben Hughes, Head of Department of Engineering at the University, said: “This investment is a real statement of intent from the University, both in terms of its Hull Electric Racing Team and the Mechanical Engineering department as a whole.

“It will provide our students with the very latest technology, used by Formula One teams at the very top of the industry, to hone their skills and test out their work in a simulated environment, before hitting the race track.

“Coupled with the transition to an electric-powered vehicle, the University continues to provide its students with a high-quality learning environment, equipping them with the skills they need to succeed in the industry after graduation.”

The Hull Electric Racing Team competition involves a variety static and dynamic events which test the team’s preparation, hard work and engineering skills.

The competition marks contestants in areas including vehicle design, acceleration, cost and grip.

Cars are judged by industry professionals, as if the team were working for them and trying to justify all areas of the project.

In 2019 the Hull team celebrated its best-ever finish at Silverstone, finishing 20 places higher than the previous year.