UPenn Engineering Students Building Top Electric Vehicles

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Not many are on the level of University of Pennsylvania engineering students. And they recently blew away the competition with their electric race car, which proudly sports the words “Silent But Deadly.”

“So we build world-class electric race cars,” says Johnathan Chen, Penn Electric Racing Electrical Co-Lead.  “What you’re looking at right now is REV3. Which took first place at FSA Lincoln.”

“It’s an electric race car it’s the coolest thing ever!”

In June, The Penn Electric Racing team beat out MIT and 30 other schools for top honors at the most prestigious student race-car design event in North America.

The electric car they’ve built, through the help of donations from sponsors, goes fast. And it’s quite impressive.

“It has 2 G’s of lateral acceleration which is twice as fast as falling that you’ll be moving sideways,” says sophomore Trevor Pennypacker, part of the electric crew.

Chen tells me that UPenn had the fastest acceleration time of any car in the competition, gas or electric.

“Which is a first for us. It did a 0-75 meter run in 4.02 seconds,” said Chen.

The Team consists of more than 20 members spending upwards of 20 to 30 hours per week designing, building, and tweaking their vehicle.  So it took a lot of trust on their part to let me drive it.

On a makeshift practice track in a South Philly parking lot, the crew let me open it up. And it’s every bit as quick as they led me to believe.

So whats next? The sky’s the limit for this extraordinary group. But they need help. The “REV3”, their award-winning car, costs well over $100,000 to make, and many months of work.

If you’d like to help the Penn Electric Racing team, go to pennelectricracing.com. Or check them out on Instagram @PennElectricRacing.

More from Pat Gallen
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