Racing toward a greener future with Formula Hybrid

 As a featured arena for NASCAR
paint-swappin’, the New Hampshire Motor Speedway
in Loudon, N.H., ain’t exactly blooming green. Stock cars consume gas and
rubber like Mountain Dew and corn chips, and no one complains if you leave your rig idling.

Last week, however, was a little
different at NHMS as 30 college and university teams from US, India, Italy,
Russia, and Taiwan competed in the fourth annual Formula Hybrid International Competition.

Formula Hybrid challenges college
and university students to design, build, and race high-performance, plug-in
hybrid vehicles. Building on the Formula SAE program, Formula Hybrid adds an
extra level of complexity: fuel efficiency. Teams were limited to 2.3 liters
(0.61 gal) of fuel, which equates to 22.5 mpg – a pittance for a race car.

The competition was co-sponsored by DS SolidWorks and organized by the Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth, a SolidWorks customer just up the road from the track (see today’s news release).

In addition to fuel efficiency, scoring considers
inspection, presentation (the business case), design, acceleration, autocross
(acceleration, cornering and braking), and students’
understanding of their design’s environmental impact.

“I like the [competition’s] engineering
aspect,” Dartmouth captain Ben Sampson told the Citizen
of Laconia
newspaper. “To me, there’s just no better way to show off
engineering than with a performance car.”

The overall winner was perennial
Formula Hybrid powerhouse
di Torino
. The other winners are here. Congratulations to all, and thanks for working for a greener future.


Latest posts by stevemcgrath (see all)