Tesla to Sponsor Formula SAE and Student Electric Racing Teams

Image: SAE International

Tesla plans to start sponsoring student teams participating in the Formula SAE Electric competition with free battery cells, discounted hardware and professional guidance.

Formula SAE is an automotive design and racing competition organized by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) International that challenges teams of undergraduate and graduate students from universities across the globe to conceive, design, fabricate, develop and compete with small, formula-style vehicles.

In 2013, the competition added a new class for battery-electric vehicles (BEV) known as Formula SAE Electric.

Tesla has ended up hiring a number of engineers who participated in Formula SAE competitions as students, but the company is now looking to get involved earlier in the process by directly sponsoring some teams and playing a part in their development.

News of Tesla’s Formula Student Battery Sponsorship was first shared by John Furtado, Staff Mechanical Design Engineer at the company, on LinkedIn, reports Electrek.

“Last summer several of us from #Tesla volunteering at the Formula SAE events were dismayed at the number of electric vehicles competing and started discussing what Tesla might be able to do to help accelerate that transition. Pretty excited to be able to share this sponsorship opportunity, just in time for the holidays. If your team is planning to enter any of next year’s Formula Student events as an EV, act fast since applications are due Wednesday the 29th,” said Furtado five days ago.

“As a part of Tesla’s mission to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy, we will be supporting university student teams aspiring to build electric vehicles as part of Formula SAE and Formula Student competitions around the world,” says Tesla in the application form for the sponsorship.

The EV pioneer will offer two options to the teams that it will sponsor:

  1. Up to 1000 high-performance 18650 cylindrical cells shipped to the team free of charge. Teams may choose between a high-energy and a high-power cell, depending on their application.
  2. An 80% discount on pre-built modules and other hardware supplied by Enepaq (formerly Energus Power Systems), up to an order limit of €20,000.

In addition, Tesla says it will also “offer sponsored teams the opportunity to review their designs with some of the world’s leading electric powertrain engineers and will provide guidance through the design and validation process.”

Getting help with your prototype EV from the engineers that make some of the safest all-electric cars (in addition to the fastest ones) out there, now that’s an opportunity no aspiring engineer would want to miss.

Applications for the sponsorship are due by today, December 29, 2021.