From theory to practice in record time

A scary two seconds is all it takes for the electric race car Gnist to reach 100 km/h. On October 6th & 7th the car is heading to Nordic Edge Expo in Stavanger.

Two seconds is not a lot of time. If you are in a hurry it’s about the time it takes to enjoy a zip of coffee or unbutton the top of your collar. NTNU-students working as part of a multidisciplinary engineering team called Revolve NTNU, also found that it is possible to create a four-wheel drive electric car that can accelerate to a 100 km/h in that timespan. This feat ranks the car among the fastest in the world only surpassed by a few other electric race cars built by students. The existing record is 1,513 seconds and is built by a team of students from ETH Zurich and the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts. In comparison a Tesla Modell S requires 2,8 seconds reaching the same velocity, according to their website.

Gnist was the latest edition of a number of racecars developed at NTNU as part of Revolve NTNU. The project assembles students across a number of disciplines at the University where the outcome is a fully functional racecar developed from scratch in less than a year. The goal is to put theory into practice for the students involved and also see how the car measures up against the competition in the world’s largest student engineering competition, Formula student. In Formula student racecars built at universities all over the world are racing against each other on legendary tracks like Silverstone in England, Hockenheimring in Germany and the Red Bull ring in Austria.

The races were finished this summer and Eirik Johannes Larsen, chief engineer on the project, said he was pleased with the end result.

– We placed sixth in the competition in Austria, reached the design finals in England and received two awards from Mercedes AMG and Jaguar Land Rover Limited for individual components on the car. Considering that this is the worlds largest engineering competition and that we are a relatively young team (five years), I am thrilled that we could compete against teams with more than 15 years experience and learning, says Larsen.

There are also several benefits to joining the project apart from travelling the world and competing on famous motor racing tracks, explains Larsen.

– The project teaches the students broader insight into general problem solving and is without a doubt an advantage later on when it comes to applying for jobs. We know that several of the companies that sponsor this program actively recruit students from Revolve. This is something we are very proud of and hope continues in the future.
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In the end it is estimated that Gnist was made possible due to somewhere between 70-80,000 working hours and a confidential price-tag (Larsen said it was excessive). So it goes without saying that the project could only be realised by support and help from numerous sponsors. Arrow Electronics, a global provider of electronic components and services was thrilled to assist the project.

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Frode S. Robberstad, General Manager of Arrow Norway.

– We provided electronic components and also funds to the project. Apart from that, our engineers also stopped by the project to assist and consult on the car. Sponsoring the car was really a no-brainer us, especially after we saw the car they built previous to Gnist. Arrow Norway desires working with young innovative people that provide solutions for the challenges coming in the future. Also, it fits perfect with our global Heroes Of Innovation and #WHYISIT campaign, Frode S. Robberstad, General Manager of Arrow Norway explained.

The car and several students from the project will be a part of Arrow Electronics stand at the Nordic Edge Expo held in Stavanger in October. Participants at the Expo are therefore able to get a closer look at the car and learn more about the project.

– I am personally amazed by what the students have achieved and we are proud to show the car we have sponsored at the expo in October. Four of the students are invited to join us and people interested in technology and race cars will have a unique opportunity to learn more about the car and our company, Robberstad said.

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