Team Bath Racing Electric (TBRe17), which is made up of undergraduate student engineers from the University of Bath’s Department of Electronic & Electrical Engineering, recently competed at the UK leg of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers’ (IMechE) Formula Student competition where they became one of the first UK teams to ever pass full electrical scrutineering in the main Class 1 event.

Formula Student (FS) challenges student engineers to design, build and race a single-seat racing car in one year. The annual UK event at Silverstone is one of the largest events in the FS calendar, welcoming over 82 teams from all over the world.

After a strong showing in the static events and a spell on track during the dynamic events, TBRe17 strongly out-scored the competition to become the top ranked UK electric team.

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. The student team are also assessed on their car’s design, cost and business case. In each test aspect the Bath engineers scored strongly, placing them clearly ahead of all of the other UK competitors in the electric division.

In addition to the TBRe17 success, the student engineers were joined by their successors, TBRe18 who competed in the separate Class 2 event scoring an overall second place in their first ever showing. First place in the Class 2 event was won by TBRe’s combustion colleagues, Team Bath Racing, meaning Bath scooped both 1st and 2nd in the Class 2 event.

The Class 2 event consisted of three individual tests – car design, cost and sustainability, as well as the quality of a business pitch. The TBRe18 team performed extremely well and will go on to build their own brand new car and enter as a Class 1 electric team in 2018.

Professor Peter Wilson, TBRe academic supervisor in the Department of Electronic & Electrical Engineering, said: “To become the top UK electric Formula Student team is an outstanding achievement for such a young team. The quality and professionalism of the engineering undertaken by the team is of the very highest standard and reflects well on their ability and commitment.

“For the final year students we wish them well for the future, where their experiences in Formula Student will have prepared them well for the next stage in their careers. The outstanding debut of the Class 2 entry, winning 2nd place overall, shows that the project is in great hands for next year!”

Commenting on the team’s success, academic supervisor and Lecturer in the Department of Electronic & Electrical Engineering Dr Ben Metcalfe added: “I am delighted that TBRe17 have progressed to such an important milestone, this platform and knowledge base will provide a fantastic platform for future teams.

“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. We are all extremely proud of them.” The Team Bath Racing Electric (TBRe) success has derived from strong levels of support and academic commitment from the University’s Faculty of Engineering and Design, the University of Bath Alumni fund, and the generous support of a large number of sponsors who have made the project possible. Sponsorship has ranged from “in kind” support, cash donations, technical support and some personal donations, all of which the team gratefully acknowledge. Not only do these donations provide essential funding and support, but they are helping to build a legacy in terms of equipment and facility that many generations of future students will be able to use.

As the team look ahead to next season, the design of TBRe18 vehicle has already begun, with the highly successful Class 2 entry showing the potential of the next TBRe car. The team are actively looking for future sponsors and looking forward to racing at Formula Student 2018 under the leadership of new Project Manager Elizabeth MacLennan.

To keep up to date with the team’s progress or to make contact, you can follow them on Twitter or Facebook.