Sussex students powered by TR Fastenings to design, build and race electric cars

TR plays its part in the Greenpower race series promoting sustainable engineering to young people.

Uckfield firm TR Fastenings is playing its part in supporting the next generation of engineers by supplying parts to a team of Sussex students taking part in the Greenpower race series. The scheme gives young people the opportunity to design, build and race an electric-powered racing car. The single-seater vehicle is being constructed by a team of 16-19 year-olds at the Brighton Hove & Sussex Sixth Form College (BHASVIC) as part of the scheme organised by the Greenpower Education Trust, a registered charity which promotes sustainable engineering to young people. 

The BHASVIC students are being mentored by Phil Edwards of Uckfield-based Weald Technology. Weald is an award-winning innovator in electric vehicle technology for commercial R&D projects, sustainable transport, and STEM education. The firm has a long-standing relationship with TR Fastenings, which provides components for its electric-powered motorcycles.

The first part of the project is a course, which introduces them to using computer-aided design (CAD) software. They will then hand-build the vehicle with materials and components donated by companies such as TR, which is supplying fastener parts for the car. The project – which runs out of school hours – also teaches students about sponsorship, marketing and teamwork as well as the engineering and design skills involved in building the car.

The BHASVIC car will participate in the most senior of Greenpower’s three competition categories, IET Formula 24+, for 16-25 year-olds. The key rule is that cars must be propelled by a 24-volt DC electric motor powered by two sealed 12-volt batteries provided by Greenpower.

For younger students, Greenpower also runs IET Formula 24 for 11-16 year-olds and IET Formula Goblin for 9-11 year-olds. For all three categories, regional events take place at racing circuits and proving grounds throughout the UK, with the series finals scheduled for Rockingham Motor Speedway, Northamptonshire, on October 7/8. The BHASVIC car will compete at Dunsfold Park in Cranleigh, Surrey, in September 2017. Teams put forward three drivers for each race, and the winner is determined by whoever covers the greatest distance in 1.5 hours.

Geoff Budd, TR Europe Managing Director, comments: “Anything that encourages young people to learn about and participate in engineering and manufacturing is to be applauded. It’s vital that we give these students every opportunity to soak up these skills and that’s why we are thrilled to be a part of this scheme. I have been in this business for over 40 years now and I’m still learning every day, so it’s great to be able to help people at the very beginning of their journey.”

Phil Edwards of Weald Technology adds: “I’ve been a huge advocate of the Greenpower scheme for a number of years and it’s fantastic to be working with the BHASVIC students as they prepare for this year’s series. The support of companies such as TR is invaluable to the students – not only are the parts vital to enhancing the performance of the cars, but a firm like TR is also a great example of a business which has been built on hard work, quality and innovation, values which inspire the students as they embark on this challenge.”

Automation Update