Grimsel: The fastest electric car hit 62MPH in just over 1.5 seconds

1159 Technology

Welcome to our technical tour which is all about Grimsel – the car that has just broken the world record for fastest electric acceleration during this tour. We would like to give you a short inside about the ideas and the thoughts that went into this car also would like to highlight some of the features and the concepts make Grimsel not just a great sprinter but actually one of the most successful cars to ever compete in a so-called formula student competition. But enough chitchat, let’s have a look at the car.

Grimsel just like all of our other cars is named traditionally after a Swiss Alpine pass and the first thing I want to point out about this car is that with the exception of just a very few almost all the parts are self developed by the team itself. If we have a look at all those parts in the disassembled state. Those exceptions which are bought or sponsored or the tired the cells for the accumulator the most controllers and a few smaller electronic components such as cables, buttons, LEDs or senses.

It sounds like a lot of effort to develop all these parts and it truly is. But by designing each part for a specific purpose and occurring load, we were able to maximize the whole performance of the compete car.

Now the chassis for instance is a great example of why specific design has great opportunities for us. The chassis of Grimsel is so-called monocoque and in contrary to a normal space frame where the loads are transferred through single struts that are welded or screw together into a trust like structure. A monocoque has a single load bearing shell, it actually comes out of the mold as a single part. This has a lot of advantages for us in combining the shape and the structural purposes.

In case of Grimsel, the shell that makes up the monocoque is made out of the sandwich structure that consists of a carbon fiber reinforced plastic on the outside layer and the court the so-called core in the middle that is made out of aluminum honey come.

This concept is extremely versatile as it can be adjusted to all the different load cases individually in each area of the car.

We can do this by adjusting the height of the core or by adjusting the amount of layers and the type of carbon fiber that we use on the outside.

By doing this and optimizing monocoque like that we can build extremely light structures. Grimsel’s chassis weight only 14kg, that is light enough that a single person could lift it up and just walk away with it.

I’ve been telling you quite some details about the structural parts of the car so far and my colleague Keith will join me and he’ll tell you some more about the performance and the design of the car.

To get the loads from the chassis to the tires we need a suspension. The design of the suspension is a complex trade-off between different targets for the vehicle’s performance.

Usually we have to fix this trade-off before the race but in Grimsel’s delivering an old technique to solve this problem.

Grimsel is the first race car worldwide known to us to implement adaptive damping. This means that the damping constant can be a chance to the current driving situation. This is enabled by a magnet or illogical fluid. This in a temper, so this fluids have the characteristic that they changed the viscosity. If certain magnetic flux is applied, the magnetic flux is changed by this cables is due to current flowing through the damper.

So for example coloring situation we need a high mechanical grip so we use a soft damping and in a transition situation we want to have a fast response in car so we use hard damping setup.

Now we have chassis and tires attached to it. We need something to accelerate the whole drivetrain.

I will show it to you. Here is very innovative features. We use a four wheel drive car with will have motors. Meaning that each of the wheel hops we have a motor with 50 horsepowers and weighing 3.4 kg. The power to weight ratio of our motors is much higher than those of the other no motors, even the motors from the formula I don’t have a power-to-weight ratio as high as ours.

The motors been upto 19,200 RPM, so we need a reduction gearbox because can apply the maximum torque to about half of the maximum speed, we don’t need any gears to shift. We use of fixed transmission gearbox. This allows us to build a planetary gearbox which is very lightweight and compact. So like you can see, we build the whole gearbox inside the wheel hop.

The concept of 4 driven wheels gives us a lot of opportunities for the control systems. So example Grimsel uses real individual traction control system, meaning that each wheel has optimal group in every driven situation.

Additionally we use a torque vectoring system. This means that we the driver requested torque to each of the wheel individually in optimal manner for the given driving situation.

Grimsel: The fastest electric car hit 62MPH in just over 1.5 seconds
Grimsel: The fastest electric car hit 62MPH in just over 1.5 seconds

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