Three college boys used to dream about building an electric car. Since their dormitory days at NCKU, the trio have come a long way. They were persistent in the pursuit of their dream and managed to draw 30 like-minded classmates into joining their team “NCKU Formula Students” in the Formula SAE competition that was held in Shizuoka, Japan in September 2019. After the competition, the team returned to Taiwan and joined forces with NCKU’s department of mechanical engineering student-formed racing team “NCKUME Racing” to form the “NCKU Formula Racing” team, which currently has 55 members strong. The newly formed team will endeavor to reach new heights in the 2020 competition.
NCKU Formula Racing 2020 Outlook
Guan Wei Chiao, the captain of the “2020 Formula SAE, Here we come!” team is confident that their combined efforts and past experience will up their game and enable them to do even better in the 2020 competition.
Turning back the clock two years when Ting-Kai Chou from the Department of Engineering Tzu Hsiang Lin and Yu Xiang Zhuang from the Department of Mechanical Engineering matriculated at NCKU in the 109th class, the trio were immediately cognizant of the learning advantages afforded to them at NCKU and were confident that they would graduate from NCKU with much gained. While in pursuit of their dream of building an electric car, they actively engaged in critical thought, discussions, and club activities until their vague ideas gradually came into focus. They formed a six-person group and created a very simple three-wheeler electric car. In 2018, the group put their creation to the test in a national competition for electric car demos. Despite their less-than-stellar performance, the team was resolved to overcome their failures and set their eyes on the Formula SAE competition.
In 2018, the group put their creation to the test in a national competition for electric car demos
The Formula SAE competition requires that all participating teams to imagine themselves as electric car companies and design and build a small-sized formula racecar. Teams are also required to submit design, cost analysis, and business reports, forcing each team to work across disciplines.
Teams are also required to submit design, cost analysis, and business reports, forcing each team to work across disciplines
Not long after, Ting-Kai Chou, Tzu Hsiang Lin, and Yu Xiang Zhuang began to ramp up their recruitment efforts, even going as far as visiting classrooms with students from different years and asking the instructors to give them a few minutes at the beginning of class to announce that they were recruiting. They had their own booth at the university club and activities fair and passed at fliers and pamphlets to share their vision. Students from 11 different departments responded to their call, and together they formed the “NCKU Formula Students” team. At the Formula SAE 2019 competition in Japan, the team succeeded in building an electric car with a top speed of 100 kmph. The team’s market and cost analysis reports won them an award for “Best Business Model”.
The team’s market and cost analysis reports won them an award for “Best Business Model”
After the competition, the team returned to Taiwan and combined with NCKUME Racing team from the department of mechanical engineering, the aspirations of which align with that of NCKU Formula Students. The combined team, now named NCKU Formula Racing team, have already begun preparations for Formula SAE 2020.
The Formula SAE is a student engineering competition held by the globally active Society of Automotive Engineers. Currently, there are 15 regional competitions around the world with around 800 or so teams participating. The 2019 Asia regional competition in Japan had 98 teams show up of which 27 teams were for electric cars. Current competition regulations limit one team per university.
At the Formula SAE 2019 competition in Japan