University of Vermont


AERO lays down fastest electric runs at international competition

Senior Sam Wagner (ME) prepares for brake testing supported by sophomore Andrew Giroux (EE) and senior Will Baker (EE).

UVM's Alternative Energy Racing Organization (AERO) and their all-electric racecar "CleanSpeed" ran the fastest electric acceleration and electric autocross times at the recently completed Formula Hybrid International Competition (FHIC). FHIC 2013 was held at the New Hampshire Speedway and included collegiate competitors such as Michigan, McMaster and Yale. The four-day competition consisted ofstudent presentations, design judging, and dynamic events. CleanSpeed was one of the first cars to pass inspections and one of only fourelectric and hybrid vehicles in total to run all dynamic events.

CleanSpeed, driven by sophomore BraedonLohe (ME), completed the all-electric acceleration test in 5.604 seconds besting the next nearest competitor by a half second. In the autocross, senior Ricky Wester (ME), completed the intricate course in 54.14 seconds, over two seconds faster than the electric car from Dartmouth. The event was not without its drama for AERO resulting in late nights working in the paddock welding, coding and/or rewiring the car. "All the hard work put in by the team this year really paid off. Although we had minor issues to fix during technical inspection, we were more prepared than ever and it really showed in our performance and in the fact that we were the second team to pass through inspections," reflects senior Marc Soldini (ME).

In the end, UVM placed 2nd in the electric division just behind the car from Dartmouth. "We might not have finished in first place, but just passing the technical inspections in time to compete in every event is a massive accomplishment both for this competition and for our team. The amount we learn at this competition in a single week rivals a month worth of classes," says sophomore Andrew Giroux (EE).

AERO is a student run organization whose current members come from electrical and mechanical engineering, computer science and business. AERO alumni have gone to work in the automotive and renewable energy sectors and several return yearly to FHIC either to judge or represent their companies, and to cheer on their alma mater. The CleanSpeed vehicle was funded primarily through a grant from UVM's Clean Energy Fund.

Find out more about AERO here: