Go4-23e: the Winning Formula

MINNEAPOLIS / ST. PAUL (July 12, 2023) — The UMN Formula Society of Automotive Engineers (FSAE) Gopher Motorsports team recently placed 7th of 75 other universities from around the world at the FSAE Electric competition in Brooklyn, Michigan in June with their fully electric vehicle (EV), the Go4-23e. Formula SAE, an international collegiate design competition sanctioned by the Society of Automotive Engineers, challenges teams of university undergraduate and graduate students to conceive, design, fabricate, develop and compete with small, formula style vehicles. This was the second year the team participated in the EV competition, and the first time competing with a driving EV.

Several AEM students participated on the team, putting in thousands of hours building two vehicles on top of an already demanding course load. In addition to the EV, they built and competed with the Go4-23c, a vehicle powered by an internal combustion (IC) engine. The team has 40 years of history competing in the FSAE combustion competition with IC vehicles, and only recently began making an EV each year as well.

This year, the team managed to exceed its progress by driving Go4-23e just days before the competition but not for more than 100 meters. However, they drove it significantly longer during the event and used only 60% charge from the 6.4 kWh battery with all temps staying in good ranges.

The goal for 2023 EV was for the vehicle to pass the tech events, or technical inspections. These consist of mechanical and electrical inspections, a tilt test and brake test for both vehicles at their respective competitions, and there is a rain and a special battery rules check for the EV.

“Considering we were unable to pass a single tech event last year, placing 7th was an incredible and very unexpected result for us, and it gives (the team) a top 5 in the nation position for this competition.” said Alexander Tong, the 2024 electrical subteam lead.

The team receiving the EV award. 

What’s next for the team? They plan to conduct dual-driving days in which both of the cars will be driven at the same time for data collection, design validation, driver training, and other tests necessary to build and design ‘even better’ vehicles for next year’s competition.

Catch GoPro footage of the fastest autocross runs with some of the vehicle’s data overlayed for both competitions on their YouTube channel. Don’t forget to stay up to date on the team’s progress by following them on Instagram.

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