2008 Formula Hybrid: The Results

May 27, 2008

CONTACT: Catharine Lamm
603/646-3943

This May, at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway, 14 teams from around the world gathered to compete in the 2nd annual Formula Hybrid International Competition. Founded and run by Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth, the competition features high-performance hybrid race cars built by teams of undergraduate and graduate engineering students. This year the event enjoyed three days of perfect spring weather and was a huge success.

The McGill team car
McGill races to victory in the endurance event

Day one of the competition consisted of the technical inspections as well as the design and marketing presentation events. Day two featured the acceleration runs, the autocross competition, and the design finals. And day three held the endurance event followed by the awards ceremony.

Eight teams made it to the endurance event and two of them—McGill University and the Illinois Institute of Technology—completed all 22 kilometers. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and the University of Wisconsin - Madison completed 25 or more of their laps.

"A 25% endurance finish rate is respectable for a second year competition," said Doug Fraser, Research Engineer and Director of the Formula Hybrid Project, "especially one involving extremely complex vehicles that incorporate hybrid, mechanical, and electrical drive systems."

Apart from the engineering component, teamwork plays a huge role within and among the teams. Said John Collier, Thayer School's Myron Tribus Professor of Engineering Innovation and a Dartmouth hybrid team advisor, "We were able to help out some of the other teams as we brought lots of spares and all of the students were eager to assist the other teams. It was great fun."

Teams in attendance

The Embry-Riddle team car
Embry-Riddle gears up for the next event

2008 winners

2008 Formula-Hybrid Photo Gallery

Individual events & awards

The Dartmouth Formula Hybrid team
The Dartmouth Formula Hybrid team

One of the highlights of the competition for the Dartmouth team was the acceleration event. "When the Dartmouth car did the acceleration run, jaws dropped," said Charlie Sullivan, Associate Professor of Engineering and another faculty advisor to the Dartmouth team. "When it's in electric-only mode, it sits on the starting line silently, so it's a shock to see it go 75 meters in under 5 seconds—the equivalent of 0 to 60 mph in about 4.5 seconds."

Thayer School modeled its event after the Formula SAE® competition in which Dartmouth students have competed for over 10 years. The main difference in the Formula Hybrid competition is that teams need to consider the additional factor of fuel efficiency in the design and construction of their car. Like Formula SAE®, students must also consider the design, acceleration, handling, and endurance of their vehicle and abide by a long list of rules.

Competition sponsors include the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), Plug In America, Toyota, General Motors, and Chrysler.