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  • Curtin Motorsport Team

CMT Electric Development

Updated: May 10, 2023

In 2022, we achieved a significant milestone when CMT successfully competed with our first EV at the Australasia FSAE competition. This achievement was the culmination of years of hard work and research by our team, which serves as a testament to our dedication and commitment to excellence and continual growth of our members.

With the recent automotive industry shifts towards electric vehicles, we recognized the need to switch from Internal Combustion engines to EVs to keep providing our team with relevant engineering experience and knowledge.

Serious research into EV technology began in 2017, with two theses written by our team members, Samara Love and Tiffany Warnock, laying the initial foundations for the battery selection and electric powertrain configuration.

The focus in 2018 to 2019 was still primarily in IC but research into the implementation of an EV was still being conducted in the background. When the COVID-19 pandemic struck in 2020, it provided us with the opportunity to shift our focus towards developing an EV car and change how we’d manufacture our car. We submitted a business case to Curtin University for additional funding, which was approved by Upper Management members Cameron Gee, Nicholas Notis, and Dylan Holland.

With the full support of the university, we were able to secure funding to purchase the main components, including the Emrax 228 PMSM motor, Unitek BAMOCAR-D3 inverter, and Enepaq modules for the accumulator. In 2021, we began manufacturing the prototype vehicle and worked tirelessly to obtain approval from the university to work on the battery packs, which operate at greater than 100V. In parallel to the development of our EV drive train we were developing our first monocoque chassis. The prototype was built from a modified chassis of the 2019 vehicle, with all components designed and manufactured except for the accumulator. Finally, in 2022, we received approval from the university to work on High Voltages and were able to build the battery pack. With our first battery pack built we were able to test the prototype for a weekend and verify that our designs were functional. Sadly, the prototype was decommissioned the night after testing as components had to be transferred onto our CMT22, our 2022 competition car which was developed in conjunction with the prototype.

The year 2022 was undoubtedly one of the most stressful years for our team, with tight deadlines and a lot of pressure to have the EV car ready for competition in November. The switch to EV technology was a significant undertaking, and there were many challenges that we faced along the way.

Despite the stress and pressure, we knew that every second was valuable, and we could not afford to waste any time. Our team members worked around the clock, pulling all-nighters, and putting in extra hours to ensure that everything was ready for the competition.

Finally, after months of hard work and dedication, we were able to complete the EV car by November. The feeling of accomplishment that we felt when the car was finally completed was indescribable.

The hard work, late nights, and sacrifices were all worth it when we saw the car in action on the track. It was an incredible feeling to see our car competing alongside other teams and knowing that we had built something special.

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