Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University launched its first electric racing car – DibaE today. Made from scratch by a highly motivated team of mechanical and electrical engineering students, supported by some business and marketing students, DibaE will compete in the 2013 Formula Student Competition (FSC) in Hockenheim, Germany from 30 July to 4 August.
NMMU Racing has designed and built an electric racing car and is the first university on the continent to build an electric racing car of this kind and compete in this international event. DibaE was first to qualify for entry into the competition.
In 2011 NMMU also made history when DibaOne was the first team from Africa to compete in the combustion section of the international event.
‘’DibaE is a giant leap forward from DibaOne, and includes brand new technologies such as a 100KW, 450Nm Brushless-DC electric motor powered by Lithium Polymer batteries, targeting a 0-100Km/h acceleration in under 4.7seconds! Another new development is a unique aerodynamic package incorporating front and rear wings, and a Formula One style under-body diffuser to increase cornering down-force,’’ says NMMU Racing formula student project manager Trevor Stroud.
At the launch, each of the students presented different aspects of the design to sponsors, academic and administrative staff and the media. MerSeta CEO Dr Raymond Patel and acting Vice-Chancellor Prof Thoko Mayekiso congratulated the students and encouraged them to do their best in Hockenheim.
The design of DibaE started at the end of 2011, shortly after NMMU Racing returned from the FSC event, and incorporates all the lessons learnt during the construction of DibaOne, which was the university’s first attempt at building a car.
‘’I am proud of the students who tirelessly worked on this project. About 17 of the 50 members are going to the competition. This project would not be possible if it wasn’t for their dedication and the contribution of our sponsors,’’ said Trevor.