The Fusion was built to gain knowledge and experience, find the right partners, and prove the world a team of young students can do. That turned out to be better than we could imagine: We built the fastest electric formula race car in the world! Besides setting records, the Fusion is used to test all kinds of automotive innovations for the next car.
The car is built to beat lap records, which means it has no limits caused by regulations, it is a car without boundaries. The car is based on an improved version of the Ignition’s chassis, but the powertrain is electrified.
To keep the fast test platform on the road, downforce is a necessity. The car’s main components which produce downforce are a diffuser, a front wing, and a rear wing. The diffuser is the floorplate of the car, which is shaped such that it creates a lower pressure under the car generating downforce. The rear wing has three elements from which are adjustable. Most of the work is done using ANSYS Fluent, in which simulations are part of aerodynamic research and are complemented by real-life tests.
The monocoque is made out of a composite sandwich structure, similar to that of other open-wheel race cars. The monocoque is made to house people of medium length and drivers just below 2 meters. The total weight of the chassis is only 60 kg, including bulkheads and paint. Each of our drivers has their own seat such that he or she is completely comfortable and protected from unexpected movements.
The powertrain is one of the main reasons why our car is so fast! Approximately 1/3 of the total weight is due to our battery pack. The Fusion is rear-wheel driven, with two Yasa 750 series motors. On Circuit Zandvoort, it has achieved its maximum speed of 246 km/h! Of course, there are also safety components. The battery pack is constantly being monitored by our Battery Management System (BMS), and in case of one small deviation, all power will be turned off.
In comparison to other open-wheel race cars, the drivetrain is not a structural part of the car. Both the front and rear suspension are mounted to the chassis, making this a responsive and stiff setup. The suspension consists of a three-way damper setup from Moton, who also helps in testing and tuning.
Electronic Control Unit
We have many sensors on our car to monitor parameters such as temperature, resistance, and obtain data for models. Connecting the ECU to our computer allows us to read out these measurements. ICT Automatisering and InMotion have developed the ECUs for the Fusion together. ICT provides its Motar-platform consisting of the ECU’s hardware and software, whilst InMotion develops the control algorithms in MATLAB and Simulink. By using the Motar-Toolbox, production class software based on AUTOSAR is generated from the model with a single button push.