The electric racing car built by the Karel de Grote Hogeschool (KdG) and the Electric Racing Academy (ERA) has broken the electric lap record on the Zolder racing circuit. The record attempt was also the kick-off for a new electric racing competition that will be run on Northern European circuits starting this fall. The car of KdG and ERA covered one lap in 1 minute and 38.81 seconds in Zolder. That's an edge of over 3.5 seconds over the previous record.
Starting this fall, the Electric Racing Academy is organizing a new electric racing competition designed to be an accessible entry-level class for young drivers and to encourage technical innovation in electric racing and regular cars. "This proves that motor racing and a healthy environment do not have to be opposites and that Flanders is full of bright minds who will guide us towards the mobility and energy consumption of the future," says Flemish Minister of Energy Zuhal Demir (N-VA).
"People do not always realize that - often life-saving - systems, but also other innovations have their origins in motor racing," adds Mobility Minister Lydia Peeters (Open Vld). "In competitions like this, the best of both worlds are brought together and I can only applaud that."
KdG's Sustainable Mobility expertise center is working structurally with ERA to further develop electric driving and improve telecommunications and informatics for the racing cars. They are also developing their own 'vehicle control module', the central brain of the racing car. The new knowledge will be used in KdG's bachelor's degree program in automotive technology. "The first agreements for internships have already been made. And ERA will also collaborate on the Electric and Hybrid Vehicles teaching module and the Motorsport module," says Kris Martens, head of the expertise center.
Starting in the fall of 2021, ERA Championship races will take place at iconic race tracks in Northern Europe, including Circuit van Zolder. The intention is to expand to other countries. For example, Japan has already shown interest for next year.
Flemish Minister of Innovation Hilde Crevits (CD&V) is having research conducted into whether Flanders can be a strategic partner in the rollout of a hyperloop network. That's a new mode of transport in which large volumes of goods or large groups of people are transported through tubes, at speeds that can reach 1,000 km/h.