On Saturday, UW student design team Electrium Mobility hosted the Electrium Cup, a competition where students test and race electric vehicles they built over the past term.
Being one of the university’s newest design teams, the Electrium Cup was the first event of its kind, though members hope to host similar competitions at the end of each term. The friendly competition on Saturday encouraged students to test each other’s vehicles to see who could achieve the fastest results.
Team members at Electrium created a number of small-scale electric vehicles, including an electric skateboard and bicycle. Vishesh Garg, team lead for the electric bicycle, explained that hosting the event was a big accomplishment for everyone at Electrium. “It felt like the culmination of a lot of what we’ve been working on over the last four months,” he said.
In order to build their vehicles within a single term, members of Electrium had to work hard and make adjustments to their projects when necessary. “Everything that [can] go wrong will probably go wrong — you learn a lot more from things going wrong than things going right,” said Seungmin Hong, who built an electric skateboard with teammates Kabir Raval and Jemima Vijayasenan.
Joining Electrium and working towards the competition gave members the opportunity for hands-on experience with engineering. According to Electrium Lead Sherwin Chiu, providing real-world engineering experiences is at the heart of what the team does. “All we want to do is inspire engineers [to] actually build something, because in class they never really get the chance to do that,” he explained.
Other team members echoed this idea, explaining that they were able to learn skills they wouldn’t have in their programs, such as soldering. “I wasn’t expecting to learn a lot of the things I got to do,” Vijayasenan said of the experience.
Garg also reflected on the learning sessions he hosted for team members throughout the term, where he gave step-by-step tutorials on creating certain vehicle parts. “It’s just really nice seeing people benefit in their personal and academic lives as a result,” he noted.
Electrium hopes to host an event like the Cup each term to celebrate the team’s creations. Members will begin building new electric vehicles when the fall term begins, with hopes of expanding to larger-scale electric vehicles, like go-karts, in the future.
To learn more about Electrium, visit their website.