Unveiling REV 9, Penn Electric Racing’s Latest Race Car

A group of Penn students in front of College Hall posing with the new electric racecar.
Photo Credit: Eric Sucar

A crowd filled with curious, eager faces gathered on College Green to see the School of Engineering and Applied Science’s Penn Electric Racing (PER) team unveil their latest creation: REV9. It’s the tenth car produced by the student-run club that’s been designed to compete in the annual Formula Society of Automotive Engineers Michigan race in June.

At the launch, second-year engineering student Rachel Xie, the operations lead of PER from San Ramon, California, welcomed the crowd, explaining that the club is divided into four main cores working year-round on multiple fronts to build the car from scratch and provide the onboard computation needed to run the systems.

“This season has been challenging, yet the team came together and persevered,” Xe said. Third-year students Rohan Maliekkal from Dubai and second-year student Lauren Lee from San Francisco, the mechanical leads of the team, pointed to this year’s two overarching mechanical goals: innovating the powertrain system, which allows REV9 to hit a top speed of 100 miles per hour, and reducing the car’s weight to under just under 190 kilograms.

Another key improvement the two noted is a revamped battery mounting scheme, allowing for insertion and removal in under five minutes, valuable for saving time between events.

The electrical hardware co-leads, third-years Katie Zhang from Dallas and Kenzo (Rafael) Sakamoto from Sao Paulo, Brazil, said their teams were able to reduce the circuit board size by almost 40% and transition from an off-the-shelf motor controller to a bespoke controller. “Our very own design allows us to deliver up to 80 kilowatts of power and make up to 2 million measurements per second,” Sakamoto said. “It is capable of switching at a frequency of 100,000 hertz, providing a smooth driving experience and high efficiency. Not only that, but it is also 70% lighter than last year’s, weighing just under four-and-a-half pounds, and boasts a power density higher than many other controllers across published research.”
This story was written by Nathi Magubane. To read the full article, please visit Penn Today.