Meet Electrium Mobility, a design team offering beginner-friendly opportunity to build electric vehicles Electrium to hold first-ever Electrium Cup on Aug. 5


Electrium Mobility is one of UW’s newest student-led design teams, focused on building and testing electric vehicles. The team aims to foster a beginner-friendly environment, welcoming students with any level of engineering experience to join. 

On Aug. 5 at 5:00 p.m., the team will host the first-ever Electrium Cup, a driving race open to anyone who owns an electric vehicle. The free competition aims to celebrate the creations of team members, and allow other students to learn about Electrium in an informal, friendly atmosphere. The team plans to host similar events showcasing the vehicles they have created at the end of each term.

Courtesy of Sherwin Chiu

Sherwin Chiu, Electrium lead, explained that design teams can often feel intimidating for newcomers. Electrium was created in the hopes that UW students would have a safe space to learn, make mistakes, and get hands-on experience with a variety of engineering projects.

“The more people I talked to, the more I realized that there’s actually a demand for a team where, you know, it’s not all about knowing everything and getting everything right the first time,” Chiu said. 

He noted that failure is often the best way to learn, but that classes and competitions often don’t provide the opportunity for students to make mistakes in a stress-free environment. 

“We just wanted to give an opportunity to students who literally know nothing about engineering, to start actually building these cool projects and applying the skills that they learned in the classroom [or] their personal lives,” Chiu continued.

Another of Electrium’s goals is constructing vehicles on a term-to-term basis, rather than the yearly approach that many design teams take. Chiu said that due to co-op, most engineering students are only on campus for a term at a time, so shortening the timespan for projects was a practical decision. “By having smaller-term projects with smaller teams, instead of having a huge project, it really minimizes the overhead that exists . . . [Participants] feel that the work they do directly correlates to how successful their project is,” he said. 

Electrium’s current projects include creating electric bikes, skateboards, and scooters. The team aims to build these vehicles again in the upcoming fall term. Looking further towards the future, Chiu says that Electrium might work on research projects or the creation of larger electric vehicles, such as motorcycles. 

Registration for the Electrium Cup is open now, and can be found here