A student team at the Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC) recently unveiled its CAT08e Formula 1 electrical racecar in Barcelona. This was the second annual event of its kind in partnership with Lear Valls.

The UPC students attend courses in the engineering school, Escola T​ècnica Superior d’Enginyeria Industrial de Barcelona (ETSEIB). This special collaboration with Lear allows engineering students nearing degree completion to acquire real world experience before entering the job market, giving them the opportunity to interact with suppliers, work on design content and contribute to a significant team project.

Using Lear Electrical’s high voltage product contributions, including the emergency switch located at the right side of the driver, the new generation vehicle boasts a number of significant improvements over the previous one, in terms of aerodynamic efficiency, weight reduction, materials and power from the electric motor.

“It is a pleasure to watch young people grow in enthusiasm and knowledge,” said Jordi Bigorra (Mech. Eng. & Design Dir.). “Improving just from last year’s vehicle, the students realized a total weight reduction of 13%. This assists them in getting a ‘full picture’ of a major project, with them also seeing electrical advances that Lear team members work on all the time, such as wire harness weight reduction and lighter power inverters and increased power to 136kw for the 400v battery. They also become even more aware of new regulations with which we deal on an ongoing basis and achieved a significant battery weight reduction in line with the new rules.”

Lear furthered its partnership with the UPC team, by providing additional support in terms of funding, materials and components for the vehicle’s electrical distribution system, and engineering support for the design team. Lear contributed low and high-voltage terminals and connectors, high current fuses and high cross-section shielded cable, and Lear engineers assisted in printed circuit board design.

“It is a pleasure for Lear to provide continued support to the ETSEIB Motorsport team,” said Raúl Martinez (Functional Safety & Engineering Quality Systems Mgr.), who served as Lear project liaison. “We are convinced that this is a great way to encourage students’ eagerness to challenge existing solutions, strive for innovation and become ready for a successful professional career.”

The new CAT08e vehicle made its Formula 1 student team racing debut in Hockenheim, Germany, at the end of July.


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