British Columbia

UVic Formula One-style hybrid car ready to race

A group of University of Victoria students is set to test its own hybrid car technology against teams from other universities around the world.

Custom car was sidelined by highway crash on way to last year's competition

The hybrid race car designed and built by UVic students is similar to a Formula One race car but is about a quarter of the size. (UVic Formula Hybrid Team)

A group of University of Victoria students is set to test its own hybrid car technology against teams from other universities around the world.

The students' race car, which they built themselves, will be judged on various aspects including design, acceleration, and endurance at the annual Formula Hybrid Competition at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway, in Louden, N.H., next week.

The purpose of the annual competition is to encourage students to develop and refine hybrid vehicle technology.

Hitting the track for the competition will mark the end of a long road for some members of the UVic Formula Hybrid Team.

The group has spent the past 12 months building the hybrid race car with the most innovative technology it could muster.

Last year, a highway crash on the way to New Hampshire sidelined the students' car.

UVic hybrid-style car ready to race 0:24

"We actually got struck on the way to (the) competition," said mechanical engineering student Ted Alley. "There was a driver going the wrong way down the Interstate and they collided with our trailer."

The vehicle built by the students looks like a Formula One race car, but is about a quarter of the actual size.

"We kind of just regrouped and figured out what we were going to do to make the car better this year, and I think we have a really, really competitive entry," Alley said.

UVic student Ted Alley will be one of the drivers for the hybrid race car at the upcoming competition in New Hampshire. (Megan Thomas/CBC)

UVic is one of just three Canadian universities competing at this year's Formula Hybrid Competition, Alley said. 

"It's one of the top-level competitions to challenge the newer technology, to design the vehicle of the future with higher energy efficiency and reduced emissions," said Zuomin Dong, chair of UVic's mechanical engineering department.

UVic students have spent the past year designing and building the hybrid race care to compete at the Formula Hybrid Competition in early May in New Hampshire. (UVic Hybrid Team)

Many who have taken part in previous competitions have gone on to work in the hybrid car industry, Dong added.

"We were able to provide about two dozen graduates to General Motors, Tesla, Ford, and many automotive companies." 

Alley — who graduates this summer — hopes to soon be working in the industry. 


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