University students in Mexico City develop battery-powered vehicle

University students in Mexico City develop battery-powered vehicle

University students in Mexico City develop battery-powered vehicle

Written by Staff Writer

03 Nov, 2016 | 10:54 am

A group of university students in Mexico City are turning heads in the racing car industry with a vehicle powered completely by lithium battery, which is a type of rechargeable battery in which lithium ions move from the negative electrode to the positive electrode during discharge and back when charging.

The three-wheel vehicle, called “Mako”, impressed last April when participating in Shell’s international Eco-Marathon, an international student competition to promote green energy for vehicles.

In our terms, Mako can be called as ‘tuk-tuk’, as it has two wheels at the front and one at the back.

It weighs 50 kilogrammes (110 pounds) and can carry a driver weighing up to the same amount. It’s 1.50 metres (4 foot 11 inches) high.

“This is an electrical prototype made for the Shell Eco Marathon. It can reach 60 km (37 miles) an hour as it takes advantage of the electrical energy and vehicle efficiency,” said one of the vehicle’s developers, National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) student Gabriela Flores.

The vehicle was named after the shortfin Mako shark. The inspiration for its moniker came from the sleek, smooth curves of the vehicle which are cut in such a way as to allow air to cool down the vehicle’s lithium battery.

“We’ve taken the lines of the silhouette and we thought about the point of air intake so as to avoid a drag. And the wings, from the upper part of the wings we thought about the entry of air to the motor. As it is a lithium battery it needs to be constantly cooled or else the batteries would explode,” added developer Francisco Juarez.

The Mexican team enjoyed a strong showing at Shell’s Eco Marathon in Detroit in April, although Team Prometheus, from the National Technical University Of Athens, took the main Technical Innovation Award.

Mako took five years to design and build.

The UNAM team showed off Mako at a Mexico City news conference on October 24, ahead of the Mexican Formula 1 grand prix won by British driver Lewis Hamilton.

Courtesy REUTERS

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