Ricardo provides engineering expertise to support the University of Michigan ‘Solar Car’ project

Ricardo provides engineering expertise to support the University of Michigan ‘Solar Car’ project
30 August 2011

The Quantum vehicle of the UoM Car TeamThe University of Michigan Solar Car Team and Ricardo Inc, the US subsidiary of Ricardo, today announced the results of their collaboration on the 2011 Quantum vehicle that will compete in the 2011 World Solar Challenge in Australia.

Ricardo assisted the University of Michigan in reducing the vehicle mass by more than 91 kg (200 lbs) by providing experts in vehicle dynamics, structures and power electronics to work with the student-only team. In addition to working to address weight issues on the Quantum, Ricardo engineers assisted in the development of the on-board lithium-ion battery pack and battery management system.

“At Ricardo, we have a passion for tackling and solving the most difficult industry challenges,” said Kent Niederhofer, president of Ricardo Inc. “Our engineers are thrilled to mentor such talented students and help cultivate the next generation of engineers while working on the ultimate electric vehicle. We are extremely impressed with the innovative thinking and talent of the Solar Car Team, and remain committed to helping them succeed as they aim to win the World Solar Challenge.”

"Ricardo has been the critical link to enabling the team to cut the weight of the vehicle” said Chris Hilger, business director of the University of Michigan Solar Car Team. “Through our collaboration, the team learned how to execute a much more comprehensive systems integration design strategy. This included using accelerometers to accurately determine the loads experienced by the vehicle, and weighing every component on the car down to each nut and bolt, to understand where extra weight could be reduced." 

Considered to be the world’s most prestigious solar car race, the World Solar Challenge starts on October 16 in Darwin, Australia, and ends 1,864 miles away in Adelaide on October 23.