Team Bath Racing Electric (TBRe), which is made up of undergraduate student engineers from the University of Bath’s Faculty of Engineering & Design, competes annually at the Formula Student competition. This is Europe's most established educational motorsport competition, run by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE).
Formula Student (FS) challenges student engineers to design, build and race a single-seat racing car in one year. The FS competitions scrutinise a variety of aspects of each team’s racing car, ranging from manufacturing cost and vehicle design, to on-track performance metrics such as vehicle acceleration and fuel efficiency, and ultimately race pace.
The annual UK event at Silverstone in July is one of the largest events in the FS calendar, welcoming over 95 teams from all over the world. It is also the only FS competition which pits combustion and electric vehicles against each other. The University of Bath is the only UK university to enter a combustion and electric team to this event.
This year, TBRe is aiming to better their current record as the top UK electric team and become a top 20 team at the FS UK event, competing directly with both combustion and electric teams.
In the Class 1 event electric vehicles are scrutinised and are tested on aspects such as brake, tilt and chassis as well as detailed safety checks on the vehicle’s high voltage tractive systems. Last year the 2018 team’s predecessors, TBRe17, scored very strongly in the static events; design, cost and manufacturing, and business. Their performance placed them clearly ahead of all of the other UK competitors in the electric division and earned them the accolade of top UK electric team.
In their first ever Class 2 event which consists of three individual tests – car design, cost and sustainability, as well as the quality of a business pitch – TBRe18 performed extremely well scoring an overall 2nd place. This car design over the past 12 months has been developed and will compete in this year’s Class 1 event.
TBRe has just unveiled its 2018 car in a spectacular launch event at the University’s Edge theatre. The new car will run on a single motor powertrain and the team has focussed on innovation in high voltage battery design. Cylindrical cells have been selected for their power density and packaged with a focus on weight reduction and cooling efficiency. The team has also built a 100 per cent redundancy for the high voltage battery, reducing risk in the highest complexity system.
In addition to competing at the UK FS event at Silverstone, TBRe18 is competing for the first time internationally, in Shanghai at the FS Electric China competition. This opportunity is a result of TBRe18 securing the sponsorship of SAIC Motor Technical Centre UK which has provided student placements at SAIC as well as supporting the team in getting to China.
TBRe18 Team Manager, Elizabeth Maclennan, said:
TBRe has grown significantly over the past year, with a 64 per cent increase in the number of students choosing to participate in Formula Student as part of their degree.
We are hugely grateful for the support of our many sponsors, especially SAIC Motor Technical Centre UK whose invaluable support and longstanding relationship with the University has meant many students have been able to complete automotive engineering placements with SAIC, as well as making it possible for TBRe18 to compete at our first ever international FS event.
TBRe academic supervisor and Professor in the Department of Electronic & Electrical Engineering, Peter Wilson, commented:
Competitions like Formula Student challenge undergraduates to exceed the boundaries and expectations of their classrooms. Students who take on these projects reap benefits in all aspects of working life, as well as having a great time doing it.
I have watched the dedicated group of students who make up Team Bath Racing Electric grow in technical know-how, business acumen and employability, which is reflected in the excellent graduate jobs they’ve accepted as well as the quality of the car they’ve produced. I am very proud to be their supervisor and can’t wait to see them compete at Silverstone in July and later at Formula Student Electric China.
Academic supervisor and Lecturer in the Department of Electronic & Electrical Engineering Dr Ben Metcalfe added:
I am delighted that TBRe18 have progressed to such an important milestone, the quality of engineering shown in this vehicle is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the team.
The importance of electric drives as a key component of modern vehicle powertrains has long been recognised, and it is important that our students leave Bath with the knowledge and the skills required to develop and advance these technologies. I look forward to the season ahead, both at Silverstone and in China, it is an exciting time to be involved and we are all extremely proud of the team.
To keep up to date with the progress of TBRe18, visit: