The most recent Delsbo Electric contest for highly efficient battery-electric railcar vehicles was won by a team from Sweden’s Dalarna University, according to recent reports.
As the name suggests, the contest is held near the Swedish town of Delsbo, on a tourist railcar line. The competition is open to teams of university students — all working to design and construct the most energy-efficient all-electric railcar vehicle possible.
As mentioned above, the winner this year was a team from Dalarna University — which presented a silver railcar dubbed the Eximus 1. The Eximus 1 managed to achieve an efficiency rate of 0.84 watt-hours for every kilometer traveled by each passenger, according to the competition’s organizers. That figure actually represents a record for a railcar vehicle.
As Green Car Reports noted in its coverage, the Eximus 1 looks “a bit like a scaled-down version of classic US streamlined trains from the 1950s, Eximus 1 weighs just 100 kilograms (220 pounds), and is powered by a 500-watt (0.67-horsepower) electric motor. It’s made mostly from aluminum to save weight, but with steel wheels like a typical railcar.”
Continuing: “Delsbo Electric contestants have their entries’ efficiency measured over a 3.36-kilometer (2.09-mile) stretch of standard Swedish railroad track. Eximus 1 completed the course in roughly 1 minute, 20 seconds, but only used its motor for only some of that time. With steel wheels on steel rails, trains have have relatively little friction to deal with compared to cars, and Eximus 1 took advantage of this by coasting for long stretches. Delsbo Electric entrants must also be able to carry one to six passengers, with a minimum average weight of 50 kilograms (110 pounds) per person. Since efficiency is calculated per person, vehicles that carry more people are not inherently penalized.”
Interesting. But obviously economic viability don’t factor into competitions like these, so who knows about the potential applicability of the approaches used?