First attempt survived, but then… – Day 5 at Shell Eco Marathon 2019

Today, we had a great start. We completed our first attempt in the competition in the first half of the day. The result was no less than 150.29 km/kWh. That led us to a temporary 6th place in our class, which is actually pretty good when keeping in mind that we were driving tactically very safe to ensure that we got registered a valid result, which is necessary to be qualified for the design and innovation awards. In our next attempts, we expect to achieve a much higher result. Now, we used only gear one and no specific strategy. In our next attempts we are going to use both the first and the second gear, in addition to the coasting driving strategy. The coasting strategy involves to accelerate relatively fast to a strategically chosen top speed and then completely detach the motor and free roll as long as we can until we repeat the procedure again and again and again. This will remove the rolling resistance from the motor and has a big impact on the energy consumption.

After the first attempt we brought the car back to the paddock for some maintenance, as well as mounting data collection equipment for todays test. Then we went to the test track and drove 2 rounds before the left motor simply fell off. And our 2nd attempt on the main track started in less than 2 hours. Everyone on the team was thinking a collective “oh shit!”. Therefore the testing got a bit shorter than expected and we took the car back to the paddock for reparation. The reason the motor fell off was that the screw threads were worn out. Luckily we had spare motors, so we did just mount another one.

Then, at 17 o’clock we were finally ready for starting our 2nd attempt. Now we were ready for performing quite a lot better with the more “risky” strategies, hoping that nothing was to go wrong. And, our wishes did absolutely come true for us this time! Already in this attempt we achieved the incredible 180.74 km/kWh, which led us to a current 2nd place in the competition. This is absolutely a result we are confident with, especially while keeping in mind that we still didn’t use more than one gear. We’ve even broken our own personal record from last year. So, if we keep up the good work and tune every single part to it’s maximum potential we hope to beat the magical number 200 km/kWh. The team is filled with good spirit. Let’s go grab another delightful restaurant dinner. This time paid by our main sponsor, DNV GL, thank you so much!

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