ERA and KDG electric racing cars break records at Zolder circuit

Div: Electric Racing Car ERA and KDG break records at Zolder circuit

The electric racing car of the Karel de Grote Hogeschool (KdG) and the Electric Racing Academy (ERA) broke the electric lap record on the Zolder circuit. With a time of 1.38.81, the current record was broken by more than 3.5 seconds. Researchers from KdG’s Center of Expertise for Sustainable Mobility and ERA have developed this racing car together, giving the green light to a whole new sustainable racing competition (the ERA Championship) which must find its place in the world motorsport. The record was set by Xavier Maassen.

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Photos: RP

ERA and KDG electric racing cars break record at Zolder circuit
KdG and ERA broke the record with the electric racing car. Flemish ministers Zuhal Demir and Lydia Peters also support the importance of sustainable mobility.

“Technology and innovation will show us the way forward to reduce CO2 emissions on circuits as well as on public roads. This record and the start of a sustainable zero emission racing competition prove that motorsport and a healthy environment should not be pitted against each other and that Flanders is full of smart minds that will lead us to mobility and energy consumption. . In the future, ”says Flemish Minister of Energy Saturn Demir.

Flemish Minister of Mobility and Public Works, Lydia Peters: “We closely follow all technological developments from the point of view of sustainability and road safety. Not only do people always realize that systems – which often save lives – but also other innovations come from motorsport in competitions like this which brings together the best of both worlds combined, and I can only praise that. An insignificant side effect is that tracks like this one from Circuit Zolder are the safest spots for those who want to step deeper on the right pedal. On the open road you can. Of course not. Safety on the road and speed on the track.

This record marks the start of an accessible entry class in an electric racing competition for racing drivers and technical staff. The competition is therefore a springboard for talented young drivers. In addition, it is also a great impetus for the technical innovation of electric cars on the circuits and beyond. In this way, ERA and KdG are working towards a more sustainable future for motorsport, which is also an important step for public mobility.

“It’s great to see that we can apply the results of our hands-on scientific research to something tangible like a sustainable race car and therefore electric driving in general,” says Chris Martins, director of the KdG Experience Center for Sustainable Mobility.

“The collaboration between the Center of Expertise and ERA is important to us,” says Dieter Vanswegenhoven, Technical Director of ERA. “We complement our knowledge well and in addition to KdG’s specific research expertise, we have also been able to benefit from the modern infrastructure of the university. With this electric racing car, we launched the Electric Racing Academy racing school and the accompanying ERA Championship competition.

The attempt was made to score in Zolder: the perfect location because here too the emphasis is on electric driving and sustainability. Harry Stegmans, General Manager of Circuit Zolder: “With initiatives like this Formula ERA car, we are showing that Circuit Zolder is ready to switch to electric vehicles and motorsports. The next step is to develop a fully equipped electric racing school with this vehicle, with Circuit Zolder as a base. We would like to see future generations of “Boutsens” grow up here.

“We are very proud,” says Veerle Hendrickx, Managing Director of KdG. “Through our practice-oriented scientific research, we want to be the engine of green prosperity through responsible consumption and production. This sustainable racing car is a great example of value creation.

ERA and the Sustainable Mobility Experience Center complement each other perfectly. The Experience Center helps organizations ask their research questions on sustainable mobility. ERA came to our door for the first time with a concrete connectivity issue for the on-board racing car network.

“The experience center complements our knowledge with their own knowledge and with the facilities that the center has, such as a modern bench,” says Dieter Vanswegenhoven, Technical Director at ERA.

Chris Martins: “The experience gained in decoding, optimizing and analyzing vehicle communications has shown that ERA has powertrain optimization capabilities. Access to available vehicle data, interpretation of available vehicle data and proper dissemination to the chassis dynamometer made the development of the vehicle even more accelerated.

2021 Xavier 2

As an “official technical partner” of the ERA Championship, the Center for the Sustainable Mobility Experience works structurally on the further development of the electric vehicle and communication and information technologies for ERA racing vehicles. In addition, they are developing their own car control unit which is expected to become the central brain of the electric racing car. Thus, ERA and KdG are together building a deep theoretical and applied expertise in electric powertrains.

They apply the new knowledge acquired directly to the professional baccalaureate in automotive technology from KdG. Martens: “The first internal training agreements have already been concluded. ERA will also participate in the Electric and Hybrid Vehicle Training Unit and Motorsport Unit.

From autumn 2021, the races of the ERA championship will take place on the famous tracks of Northern Europe, including Zolder. “The intention is to expand to other countries. Japan, for example, is already showing interest in next year. The United States and New Zealand can follow suit later, ”explains Vanzwegenhoven.

2021 Xavier 1


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