Cambridge University Eco Racing (CUER) have just returned from their first international race with Helia – a section of an epic 1,864-mile drive from Darwin to Adelaide as part of the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge.
The cutting-edge vehicle pushes the boundaries of automotive battery technology, efficient tyres and aerodynamics, weighing only 550kg (1200lb) due to a specialist ultra-light weight carbon-fibre chassis and body panels which we tooled for them.
“Use of composites allowed the team to drastically reduce weight while maintaining structural integrity, allowing Helia to travel further and faster than would be possible with other materials.”
Helia’s streamlined aerodynamic design and lightweight construction significantly enhance the overall energy efficiency, using power from high performance lithium-ion battery packs. The battery pack has much higher energy density than most production vehicles allows for more than double the range of a Tesla, whilst being a quarter of the size.
Speaking about the project, our Sales Director, Matt Sellens said: “We knew the team’s biggest focus had to be reducing the weight of their vehicle in order to increase its overall range. Using our experience developed over almost 20 years of working with cutting-edge motorsport teams and supercar manufacturers, we fed into their design process and created the mould tooling, a special mould to produce a highly durable but ultra-light carbon fibre weight chassis.
“Our engineers designed, machined and sealed the moulds, then worked with the student team to laminate layers of carbon fibre in the moulds to create the chassis and body panels. The assemblies were then autoclave cured. The resulting product is fantastic and a real showcase of our lightweighting capabilities in manufacturing and tooling.”