Students representing 30 schools from five different countries including Russia, Italy, Taiwan, Canada, and the United States will present their innovative racecar designs during the Fourth Annual Formula Hybrid Competition at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Monday, May 3 through Thursday, May 6.

Hosted by the Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth, the Formula Hybrid event challenges university students to design, build, and race high performance, plug-in hybrid vehicles for review by an elite panel of judges.

The competition assesses teams in many different areas including design, technical aspects, presentation, acceleration, and vehicle endurance.  

The students competing in the challenge are typically majors in electrical, mechanical, and computer engineering.  Formula Hybrid encourages interdisciplinary teamwork and innovation.

"It's a little bit like the space program," said Robert Todd, the Capstone Program director and professor of mechanical engineering at Brigham and Young University (BYU) in Provo, Utah.  “You learn by doing what hasn't been done before. We do these kinds of things to give students a chance to innovate.”

The event is based on the popular Formula-SAE program that started in 1978 for college and university students from around the globe.  Formula Hybrid inspires the young engineers to think green by using high powered electronics and other energy saving techniques.

“It's a hybrid for one, and the unique thing about our car is the high-powered batteries we are running, and also the hybrid system that allows us to run off our batteries and our generator simultaneously,” said Team Captain Peter Ransom of BYU describing the benefits of the car. “We've worked very hard and we're competing against some big schools, and we're all looking forward to the competition.”

In 1988, Bryar Motorsports Park, now the site of New Hampshire Motor Speedway, hosted the first ever test for solar powered cars designed by students from Dartmouth and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Sponsors include the Society of Automotive Engineers, Inc. (SAE), the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. (IEEE), Toyota, New England Region Sports Car Club of America (SCCA), General Motors, Chrysler, Plug In America, CF design, and Graybar.

For more information, visit our Formula Hybrid event page.