Lafayette Motorsports 2021-2022

Why build an EV?

  • A trend towards electric cars in the consumer market.
    • Hybrid/purely electric racing competitions are becoming more prevalent in order to increase long term sustainability of the sport. This is seen as Formula 1 is attempting to become carbon net zero by 2030.
  • Racing has been at the forefront of innovation in the car industry for many decades. Such advancements as traction, ABS, and seatbelts have all originated in racing.
    • It is reasonable to say that developments made in racing on electric vehicles will likely be passed down to the consumer market as time goes on.
  • Racing has served as an inspiring force for future generations to become involved in STEM education, and am EV designed by college students has the potential to serve as a similar inspiration.

    What is the competition?

    • For 2021-2022, Lafayette Motorsports will be competing in the Formula Hybrid Competition.  
    • The competition provides students an opportunity to develop a knowledge base in the Hybrid/EV industry.
    • The competition makes use of fully electric or hybrid vehicles.
    • The Formula Hybrid competition allows for inter-departmental collaboration between the Mechanical Engineering & Electrical and Computer Engineering Departments at Lafayette College.

    Major 2021-2022 Team Goals

    For Current Car

    • By the beginning of spring break, each subsystem will be at a position where it may be fully integrated with the club, such that the senior design team members may begin preforming R&D for their subsystem for the following year.
      • A handful of subsystems have identified needing a longer timeline to be fully integrated with the club, and have specified that information on their specific pages.
    • Support getting the car to competition
      • Confirm that the current car is rules compliant and assist the club in all ways required to make sure they are able to get the car to competition.
      • If the car is not rules compliant, design or engineer improvements to get the car to be rules compliant.
      • Get all subsystems to a TRL 8 (car has gone through proper testing @ Metzger) by April 22nd, 2022. The competition is official from May 2-5, 2022.
    • Generate updated user friendly documentation for current subsystems that have lower barriers to understanding
    • By the end of the Fall semester, every subsystem will be ready for full car integration via the club. Seniors will remain available to help the club but will not be directly involved in building the car.
    • Get the car to competition
      • Confirm that the current car is rules compliant and assist the club in all ways required to make sure they are able to get the car to competition.
      • If the car is not rules compliant, design or engineer updates to get the car to be rules compliant.

            For Future Car

            • Design A New chassis
              • The goal for this chassis will be to reach a TRL Level of 3 before the end of the academic year. The result of this will be that next year’s team will be able to start at  TRL of 3 and hopefully advance quickly to higher TRL levels. This will a
              • Allow for testing to begin on the race chassis earlier in the year, and would make a second “test” chassis available for both driver training and new component testing.
            • The battery pack should consider redesigning the PacMan to use with a microcontroller that is taught to ECEs
            • Create documentation/videos to explain each subsystem
            • Development of Highspeed Data Acquisition System
              • Will allow for real time analysis of engineering metrics such as car acceleration, velocity, Tire Pressure, Steering Yaw angle, etc.
              • Will have the ability to log individual driver sessions and provide comparisons of modeled laps compared to actual data.
              We are using Tech-readiness Levels (TRLs) to track our goals, for more information click here.

              Team Self Explanation 

              The Lafayette motorsports team is moving forward well. The overall goal for our team is to get all of the sub-systems delivered to the club in such a way that they are able to build a rules compliant car before the competition. The team is making extremely solid progress towards this goal. The mechanical side of the team has all but one sub-system within about 2 weeks of work before they will be deliverable to the club. The hope is that at the beginning of the next semester the team will work together to get an initial build of the car complete so that it can be fully handed off to the club. Once this has been complete it will also allow for the seniors to fully understand how all of the sub-systems integrate together on the car before they are passed off to the club. This will hopefully allow the team to determine any integration issues and solve the problems before pass off to the club.


              The teams priorities have not shifted much. On the first day of the semester the two most important things that the team had on the list was safety and team communication. This continues to be true to this day. This car has so many sub-systems each of which are complex by nature, team communication is an extremely important thing. If the team allows the communication to fall it will not be possible to get the car fully built as each sub-system relies on at least one other if not more to function well.  Safety also continues to reign supreme. Certain changes were made on the car this semester for specific safety reasons, and the team has upheld strict safety measures while working in the shop. Safety in racing is paramount, this is a dangerous activity so for this team working hard to create an atmosphere where nothing is overlooked and all possible situations that can be considered are considered.