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The Green Apple Awards 2011 GreenFleet Award



Build your own electric race car

If you’ve ever fancied building a kit car, then the launch of the world’s first electric race car kit, might be just what you’ve always dreamed of.

Developed by Birmingham City University in association with Westfield Sportscars Ltd, the new iRacer home-build race car costs from £13,999 (excluding drivetrain).

Westfield iRacer jpg

The car can be built as a purely electric, hybrid or just combustion-powered model. Hybrid options include a choice of petrol/electric or diesel/electric. Suitable for students and members of the public alike, the iRacer is approved by the British Automobile Racing Club and is eligible to compete in the Westfield race series.

In development since 2008, the model is also designed to help address a skills shortage in engineering and manufacturing in the Birmingham region. Westfield and the University intend to work in partnership with other educational institutions to help get youngsters in the area interested in engineering as a career, through a series of workshops and short courses.

It is the intention of both BCU and Westfield to use the iRacer as a continuous research platform and further develop, test and race the model on the streets around Birmingham.

With a focus on CO2 reduction, the partnership will continue to research ways to improve energy efficiency of the car and cut environmental impact of the manufacturing process.

Westfield has a target to reduce the CO2 and weight of its cars by 20 per cent over the coming years. The iRacer will serve as an invaluable research tool to discover ways of achieving this across its range of cars.

Parmjit Chima, Head of the School of Engineering, Design and Manufacturing Systems at Birmingham City University, said: "This is an exciting partnership between the School of Engineering, Design and Manufacturing Systems and Westfield Sportcars. The partnership will benefit students by developing a pipeline of valuable technical and employability skills, working on industry-led projects at the cutting edge of hybrid vehicle and full electric technology to aid the environmental agenda of reducing carbon emission."

Julian Turner, Chief Executive Officer at Westfield Sportscars Ltd, said: “Westfield and Birmingham City University have the aligned vision of future proofing tomorrow’s engineers and equipping them with tools for the future. Through the iRacer kit build, students, staff and parents will have an opportunity for on the job training in hybrid and pure electrical vehicles.”

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Faye Sunderland

Filed under: Electric cars

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