24.01.23 by Liveryman Nick Lyford

Cranfield University’s E-kart project

During May to September 2022, the Coachmakers supported a very special ex-curricular project with a team of gifted automotive engineering students from Cranfield University, writes Liveryman Nick Lyford.

The objective of this project was to design and build an electric go-kart within a strict budget set mutually by us and the university. This project was extra special as it was to be completed outside of the students’ post-graduate curriculum and in their final year of study with all the pressure that entails. The energy and enthusiasm of the students has to be really admired.

Assistant Giles Taylor and I, who have both been following the project in its various stages, were able to see the completed kart (with Coachmaker branding) in November last year and in impressive action. At one moment a little too powerful for Matt the test driver, with a large amount of oversteer coming out of the corner of the Cranfield test track, such was the torque of the individual motors.

The kart uses two BLDC Permanent Magnet Brushless Motors, 7.5kW (air cooled) each independently supplied by a LG Chem Li-ion battery, 60V, 2.8kWh. The batteries (partially depleted electric car batteries) were charged and balanced using a Li-ion battery management system. This design gave independent power to each rear wheel paving the way to the future development of a torque vectoring project using this kart as a development tool.

A big shout out to the students who worked so diligently on this project, on time and in budget:
Matthew Guy
Javier Pena Hernandez
Daniel Sims
Ainara Duran Hervas
Blake Donaldson

Our thanks also to Glenn Sherwood Course Director MSc in Automotive Engineering and Professor James Brighton, Professor of Automotive Engineering, Advanced Vehicle Engineering Centre who made all this happen.