IIT Madras students’ team Raftar unveils electric racing car

IIT Madras students’ team Raftar unveils electric racing car

Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT Madras) students launched the first electric formula racing car to come from the institute during an event in the campus. Built completely by students Team Raftar, the formula car ‘RF23’ is the result of a one-year-long process in which the team undertook the Design, Manufacturing, and Testing. In terms of performance, the students expect to see significant improvements in speed and lap times compared to the earlier Internal Combustion Engine model due to the higher power delivered by an electric drive.

Team Raftar aims to become the best Formula Student team in the world. It intends to promote Formula student culture in India with continuous innovation and sustainable technological advancement at its core. As a Formula Student Team, Raftar specializes in designing, building, and racing a high-performance race car every year to compete in Formula Student competitions against top engineering institutions across the world.

Team Raftar comprises 45 students from various disciplines and is one of the competition teams of Centre For Innovation (CFI) at IIT Madras. The team looks forward to representing India at international level, fostering industry-standard engineering practices and nurture real-world technical expertise among engineering students.Addressing the launch event after unveiling ‘RFR 23,’ Professor V Kamakoti, director, IIT Madras, said, “The shift from combustion to electric vehicle was just as drastic as it was necessary, keeping in line with the global trend of moving towards sustainable transportation. With global electric vehicle industry still in its nascent state, the potential for growth and technological advancement in this arena is huge.”

The team will be participating in the Formula Bharat event, scheduled to be held in January 2023 at the Kari Motor Speedway in Coimbatore. The team also aims to take this car to the world’s most prestigious Formula Student event, Formula Student Germany in the August of 2023 to pit itself against the best teams from around the world, vying for a place on the podium.

Being primarily a research team with persistent innovation as the key goal, the students believe it is their responsibility to work towards the advancement of transportation technology, with the next logical step being autonomous driving. This concept promises significantly improved safety, universal access, convenience, efficiency, and reduced costs compared to conventional vehicles. In line with this vision, Team Raftar is on its way towards developing its first Driverless race car by 2025 and participating in the ‘Driverless category’ of Formula Student events.

Formula Student provides the ideal testing ground to develop and perfect this technology. The students are in the process of incorporating India’s first indigenously made processor SHAKTI to achieve complete customizability with no external dependency. The focus is on cloud storage and processing, enabling seamless conversions of EVs to DV.