EVo1 first electric race car in India courtesy IIT Mumbai engineering students: Specs of EVo1

Christened EVo1, this is the first ever electric racing car to be brought out by students of IIT-Mumbai. It is through the dedicated and committed team work of 60 students from various branches of engineering that this car has been made possible.

The team commenced work on this EVo1 with a budget of Rs.15 lakhs and has been working on this project for the past one year. The EVo1 has acceleration time form 0 to 100 kmph at 5 seconds while it has a range of 35 kms in one single recharge. It has a top speed of 115 kmph and charging time of 3 hours. Weight stands at 280 kgs minus driver. EVo1 is powered by highly efficient DC motors with lithium polymer batteries. Minus tail pipe emissions this electric vehicles has negligible carbon footprint. It was launched by Prof. Rangan Bannerjee, Dean of R&D IIT, Mumbai.

After successfully completing EVo1, students of IIT, Mumbai are already getting set to work on a 2013 edition of the same car which they will name EVo2. This promises to be even better in performance as compared to the EVo1 especially where grip and performance are concerned. Coming out with electric vehicles is what IIT Powai, Mumbai feel will be challenging and rewarding specially considering the growing demand for such vehicles in a market where petrol vehicle are sure but surely losing luster.

Specs of EVo1

Motors: Flat axial gap PMDC motors by Agni
Motors. 16kW @ 72 V continuous, 30 kW peak
(5 secs)
Motor Controller: Programmable Kelly Controller KDH14451A
Battery: Superior Lithium Polymer Battery
(SLPB) from Dow Kokam
BMS: Passive balancing Elithion BMS
Aceleration: 0 to 100 kmph in 5 seconds
Top Speed: 115 kmph
Weight: 280 kg
Power: 32 kW maximum
Range: 35 km in one charge
Charging Time: 3 hrs
Energy Capacity: 9 kWh

Why Formula Student Electric?

By Prateek Sharma

The IIT Bombay Racing team participated in Formula Student back in 2008 and 2009 with an IC engine powertrain. After a hiatus of 3 years, wherein the team built further competence by winning laurels at national competitions such as SAE India Baja, we decided to remark our entry into Formula Student 2012 with a newer and bigger challenge; the electric powertrain.

This shift in technology was primarily envisioned keeping in mind the global impetus received for electric vehicles owing to reasons of energy security and environmental concern. India is many miles away from mass scale commercialization of EVs, one of the major reasons being the prohibitive cost of technology. In our capacity as a student organization, The IIT Bombay Racing team aims to develop indigenous technologies for the EV thus aiding their much anticipated growth in India. Formula Student provides the perfect platform and motivation for students to work on teams in a time bounded fashion and with a competitive spirit towards achieving a fixed set of deliverables.

This new challenge has made the project a lot more inter-disciplinary than before with major involvement of students from the Electrical and Electronics engineering background. It has also thrown open new vistas for development of technologies such as motor controllers, battery management systems, electronic differential, telemetry systems etc which the team intends to pursue in further versions of the car in close association with both academia and industry.

Lastly, the idea of a skull and cross bones sticker on the car was just too fascinating to avoid! Thats why, Electric!

Innovation follows Passion: 2 way telemetry system

By Devdatta Patankar

As engineering students, one of the cool things we have always felt about the F1 races is their pits and control room. Tens of computer screens throwing up numbers and graphs and senior engineers staring at data with rapt attention and giving instructions to the driver! Seems an interesting job, and so when IITB Racing decided to have telemetry on Prithvi 3.0, we were super excited.

Telemetry is a technology that allows remote measurement and transmission of information. Telemetry is an important factor in F1, because it allows engineers to collect a huge amount of data during a race. The data can then be interpreted and used to ensure that the car is performing at its optimum. We were breaking new ground implementing Telemetry on a Baja Vehicle.

Building anything from scratch is never easy and after many night-outs, wirings and short- circuits; our own Data Acquisition system was in place. We were tracking four parameters: car position (via GPS), speed, engine RPM and the g-forces on the car, all real-time. Also, we had two-way wireless communication with our driver via his dashboard. We had just two laptops in our “control room”, but looking at all those graphs while the car was running in front of us was just amazing!

Our system went through two and a half months of rigorous testing, numerous iterations in which its performance and reliability were worked upon. Along the way it helped tune the CVT of the car and measure suspension forces as a part of the Design Validation Plan. But the real challenge was the fabled endurance race of four hours in the heat, dust and mud of those wretched Natrip tracks of Pithampur.

The Baja Endurance Race is an experience of a lifetime. You pit a full year of engineering effort against the forces of nature. It is like going to a war, you go in boys, you return back as men. Every moment is an adrenaline rush. Harshad Kunte, our affable captain always used to say, “I am going to pour a bucket full of water on you dashboard, and its still gotta smile at me and say ‘Welcome’, coz that’s what the endurance race is all about.” He was not joking; two laps and our sleek silver car looked dirty mud brown. But we were prepared and we did it. For four full hours, sitting 1.2 km away, we could see at all moments, exactly where the car was, what it was doing, how it was performing.

Two incidents come to mind. The first was a funny one. Two laps into the race, suddenly the GPS dot stopped moving. Everyone gathered around sombrely, “kya hua? Breakdown toh nahi na?” (What Happened? Is it a breakdown?), when someone shouted, “koi nahi, engine chal raha hai, bas pileup hoga.” (Nothing. Engine is running. Just a pileup.) And sure enough, the car started moving and the pits erupted with joy. To our neighbours, we must have seemed like idiots looking at computer screens and grinning happily at the false alarm.

Then eight laps into the race, we realized that something was wrong with the RPM numbers, the car wasn’t running at its optimum. Hurriedly we called Sharma in for a pit-stop. Shanu and Vallari ran to the car, detected the fault in the throttle cable and corrected it in two minutes. That intervention, based on the real-time data we had procured helped us gain at least five race positions. We finally knew, what it meant, to be race engineers!

Our “IITB-Racing” custom made data acquisition system has features that cover most of the requirements in a race vehicle. We realized the “economical” advantage of our 10,000 rupee system when we saw BAJA organizers struggle with the reliability of their systems which had cost them lakhs. Further, with its modularity and scope for expansion, it is an excellent development tool. A well set goal is half done, and we wish to take this cost- effective innovation forward and develop it into a full-fledged product.

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