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

2021 Xavier 3

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

The electric race car at Karel de Grote Hogeschool (KdG) and Electric Racing Academy (ERA) broke the electric lap record at 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 developed this race car together, giving the go-ahead for an entirely new and sustainable racing competition (ERA Championship) that must find its way into global motorsport. The record was set by Xavier Maassen.

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

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

Flemish Minister for Mobility and Public Works, Lydia Peters: “We closely follow all technological developments from a sustainability and road safety perspective. Not only do people always realize that systems – which often save lives – but also other innovations stem from motorsport in competitions like this one that 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 pitches for those who want to press the right pedal more deeply. On the open road you can. Of course not. Safety on The road and the speed on the track.”

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

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

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

The attempt was made to score at Zolder: the perfect location because here too the focus is on electric driving and sustainability. Harry Stegmans, General Manager of Circuit Zolder: “Through initiatives like this ERA formula car, we are demonstrating that Circuit Zolder is ready to transition 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 love to see future generations of “Boutsens” grow here.”

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“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 race car is a great example of value creation.”

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

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

Chris Martins: “Experience gained in decoding, optimizing and analyzing vehicle communications has shown that ERA has powertrain optimization capabilities. Accessing available vehicle data, interpreting available vehicle data and properly disseminating it to the chassis dynamometer, made vehicle development even further accelerated.”

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As the “Official Technical Partner” of the ERA Championship, the Center for the Experience of Sustainable Mobility is working together structurally on the further development of the electric vehicle and the communications and information technology for ERA racing vehicles. In addition, they are developing their own car control unit which should become the central brain of the electric racing car. In this way, ERA and KdG together build in-depth theoretical and applied expertise in electric powertrains.

They apply the new knowledge they gain directly to the KdG’s Professional Bachelor’s Degree in Automotive Technology. Martens: “The first agreements for in-house training have already been concluded. ERA will also participate in the Electric and Hybrid Vehicle Training Unit and the Motorsport Unit.”

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From fall 2021, the ERA Championship races will be held on the famous tracks of Northern Europe, including Zolder. “The intention is to expand to other countries. Japan, for example, is already showing interest for next year. The US and New Zealand can follow suit later,” says Vanzwegenhoven.

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