Development of electric superbike goes to the edge

Student team Electric Superbike Twente was planning on participating in the GAMMA Racing Days at the TT Circuit in Assen this weekend. However, they had to cancel because of safety reasons. A crucial error has been found in the motor of the previous Electric Superbike Twente team. The new motor is similar to the motor of the previous team, and the problem cannot be solved in a short time. That is why the team dropped out to guarantee safety. With the construction of the new motor, the team has nevertheless made an important contribution to innovation in the field of sustainable transport based on renewable energy sources. The mobility sector is moving step by step from combustion engines on fossil fuels to electric motors.

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For electrical engineering student Niels Thomson, developing the batteries and the motor was a dream come true. “It is something extraordinary to work on,” says Niels. And, let’s be honest: who does not want to create an electric vehicle that can reach speeds of up to 300 kilometres per hour? Want to know how Niels experienced the project? Continue reading below.

Hi Niels, why did you join the Electric Superbike team?

“I wanted to do something special for a long time, and I was in doubt about what I wanted to do with my studies. I am very interested in racing, and then the opportunity arose. That’s when I decided to go for it. I have been doing this since September, and where others have taken a gap year in their studies, I am doing this for credits.”

What is the best part of this work?

“Spending three quarters of a year putting the entire motor together - which really involves all disciplines and more - and then see if it works. That process is great. It is extraordinary if the motor works in the end.”

When is the race you are working towards?

“It was supposed to take place in the upcoming weekend, but we decided to drop out. We recently ran into a few things and then we had to make the decision: will we participate or not? Our goal was to participate in that race because it allowed us to measure forces against other student teams. It truly is a pity but in the end it a wise decision that we need to accept. After all, safety is paramount, so driving is not an option. We will, for sure, participate in another race, but we do not have a specific one in mind yet.”

How educational is this project for you?

“Very. At Saxion, it is only possible to put the theory to practice using a simulated environment. The problems that are encountered in the real world are not present in that environment. If during your studies, you encounter something that does not work, it is sufficient that you learned something and that you know why it is not working. Here, in reality, if the engine does not work, you must fix it! That is one of the reasons why I am participating in the team. It makes things interesting and exciting.”

At which point would you consider your time at the Electric Superbike team successful?

“If we have won a race. We have an ambitious bike that has overcome many setbacks. Now I want it to drive perfectly. Next year, I will continue some work for the team in my spare time next to my studies, because I love it so much. For me, this is a project without an end.”

Can interested students still apply?

“A new team has already been assembled, but some new people are usually added throughout the year. We are still looking for electrical engineers. So: if students are interested, they can email us, call us or contact us at Saxion. There is always room for new people.”

Would you recommend others to apply?

“Absolutely. It is an opportunity to truly do something special and unique: developing a motorcycle that can drive 300 kilometres per hour using a battery pack.”

Date: 16 August 2019
Source of tekst: Saxion
Author: Twente.com
Audio / video: Saxion

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