Need for speed: Pakistan’s first formula electric racing car unveiled
KARACHI: Parked on a black-and-white chequered surface stands Pakistan’s first formula electric racing car, which was unveiled on Thursday.
The car has been developed by young innovators from National University of Sciences and Technology (Nust) formula electric racing, known as Fern. The automobile was showcased at the Pearl Continental hotel in a ceremony sponsored by Bank Alfalah.
“The car is the first to be selected for the Formula SAE Lincoln 2016, a leading competition for undergraduates, to be held in June this year,” said the team captain and Nust final-year student Abdul Aleem. Thirty teams from across six different countries have qualified for the competition and Fern emerged as the only team representing not only Pakistan but the whole of Asia, he said.
Turning their dream into reality posed many challenges for the 18-member team, comprising mechanical, electrical and industrial engineering students from Nust. Two women, named Ayesha Nafees and Sana Fatima, studying electrical engineering are also part of the team.
The process took about 16 months, of which five months were spent on research and manufacturing took 11 months, explained Aleem. It is our determination that made this possible and today we stand here as really proud Pakistanis, he added.
About the car
Running on lithium-ion polymer batteries, the automobile weighs 275 kilogrammes and is capable of reaching the speed of 110 kilometres per hour, with an acceleration of 0-75 kilometers in 4.8 seconds, explained Fern marketing director and student of mechanical engineering Shariq Waqar.
The car has been manufactured with parts available in the local markets, said Aleem. Some of car’s specific features include rack-and-pinion steering system, single piston custom-made aluminum caliper braking system and unequal A-Arm suspension system.
Sharing the team’s future plans, Waqar said that team is currently trying to reduce the weight to 225 kilogrammes, which will make it the most light weight car in the country.
The current cost of the car is estimated at Rs3 million. However, if the car is produced on a large scale then it will cost around Rs800,000 to Rs900,000, claimed Waqar.