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University students from KU Leuven and Thomas More are building Belgium’s fastest accelerating electric car

LEUVEN – Today, the Formula Electric Belgium, a team of 37 students from KU Leuven and Thomas More, introduced their new electric race car: UMICORE LUNA. The team is part of the Powered by Umicore programme that supports clean mobility projects realised by engineering students.

With the UMICORE LUNA, the team will participate in the international Formula Student competition and compete against other international university teams on several European Formula 1 circuits during the summer. The innovative technologies that were applied this year should help the team obtain a world leading position in the electric race car competition.

The introduction of the UMICORE LUNA is the culmination of nine months of intensive designing, developing and fine-tuning. The team has bold ambitions. For the first time they developed a self-made engine with a strong focus on efficiency and durability. In addition they integrated the gearbox into the engine. This innovative powertrain, in combination with a reduced weight, allows the car to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in only 2.7 seconds. The weight reduction was made possible by the use of carbon fibre that is also used in industries such as aviation.

Team leader Nick Verlooy: “By building the UMICORE LUNA we have proven that an electrical powertrain has many advantages and that electric race cars can be as powerful as high-end sports cars. It has been a big challenge to produce this car in only nine months’ time but we are proud of the result and we are looking forward to our first competition!”

Umicore, main sponsor of the team, is also looking forward to the competition together with the students. Tom Van Bellinghen, Marketing & Sales Director Rechargeable Battery Materials: “It is great to see the whole team so passionate about clean technology. These future engineers will help to determine the evolution towards a more sustainable world. By building this electric car they spread the message that sustainable mobility is no longer a remote fantasy.”

The students gladly forego their upcoming summer vacation to participate in the world’s largest student competition: the Formula Student (FS). During this competition the team will present the car‘s design to a jury that consists of top engineers from different high-tech companies. After meticulous technical safety controls the car will have to prove itself on the race track. Formula Electric Belgium is the only Belgian team that will participate in the Formula Student Electric competition.

These are the key dates:

- FS UK, 9/06 – 12/06 United Kingdom (Silverstone circuit)
- FS Germany, 28/07 – 02/08, Germany (Hockenheim circuit)
- FS Czech, 3/09 – 06/09 Czech Republic (Most circuit)

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