Can you imagine to travel almost 200 kilometers for 45 forints (less than 20 cents)? The young Hungarian engineers’ innovation, “SZElectricty,” may be a revolutionary new way of urban transportation in the future.
The SZEnergy Team was founded in 2005 at the Széchenyi István Universtiy. They develop environmentally sound and energy-saving vehicles. Currently, the team has 22 students, whose work is mentored by 6-8 researcher mentors. The project is a cooperation between the faculties of the university as there are electric engineers, IT professionals, economists, and managers in the team. This professional diversity is important as they build a whole vehicle.
They are regular participants in the Shell Eco-marathon, which is a unique competition that challenges students around the world to design, build and drive the most energy-efficient car. With three annual events in Asia, the Americas and Europe, student teams take to the track to see who goes further on the least amount of fuel.
In Europe, the SZEnergy Team won 3rd place in Shell’s competition. Their car, called SZElecticity, can travel 195 kilometers while using just 1 kilowatt hour, which is 45 forints of energy.
These cars are smaller than normal cars; the length of the vehicles are similar to the length of a Smart Car, but they are more straight and low. Currently, it is not a very comfortable ride, even for one passenger, but it can be changed. However, that is not the point if we are discussing a race car.
The driver at this year’s Shell Eco-marathon is going to be Máté Gombosi, because he is the lightest on the team.
The SZElectricty will participate in the race in the“urban cars” category, so it has all of the accessories that are necessary for street traffic. This means that, after small modifications, it could be registered in vehicular traffic.
The members of the team work on the cars as a hobby after their classes at the university. They get professional help from their professors and funds from grants and sponsors.