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Formula CCM FAQs


Formula-CCM: An Experimental Electric Vehicle Competition for Student-Engineers


From The County College of Morris SAE Student Chapter




What is Formula CCM?


An Experimental Electric Vehicle Competition for Student-Engineers and other groups of young people interested in technology.





How does it differ from the many other student competitions?


Formula CCM simple, low-cost electric vehicle challenge that allows groups with very limited funds and facilities to become successfully involved in a substantial science & engineering project.





Why would it appeal to schools and teachers?


Many schools and teachers will see it as a simple way to develop student interest in "green engineering". And it is an excellent project to develop group problem-solving, teamwork and even project management.





Why would it appeal to students?


Students tend to like the Formula CCM Challenge because it involves a "real" and tactile creation that is unlike the various "virtual" or "simulation-type" engineering competitions. Students can actually sit in the vehicle and observe it "come alive".


Also, many young people are already interested in cars. This competition exploits that interest and redirects it to a study of electric vehicles; an area that is likely to grow and provide employment in the future.


It is expected that young people who are involved in building a Formula CCM Challenge Vehicle will become more interested and excited about electric vehicles and other alternate transportation concepts. They are also more likely to become more interested in engineering and science in general.




Who can get involved?


High schools or colleges. Also, any group of high school-age or college-age students, including Boy Scout groups, home schooling groups, neighborhood teams, etc.





Is it safe?


The building rules for a Formula CCM Challenge Vehicle intentionally limits power so that average speeds achieved will be about 11 mph. The vehicles are primarily intended to be measured for endurance. All drivers must wear helmets and appropriate shoes and clothing.





What is the cost of a Formula CCM Challenge Vehicle?


Approximately $100 to $200





What specialized equipment is required to build a Formula CCM Challenge Vehicle?


Students at CCM designed and built one Formula CCM Challenge Vehicle using only an electric hand drill, a hack saw and common hand tools. The rules favor a simple design, so teams with limited facilities are not at a disadvantage. Naturally, teams with extensive equipment (such as welders and machine tools) are welcome to use them.





Why is it called "Formula"?


Because it is build using set of rules (or a "formula"). These rules are intentionally designed to keep the project simple and with a low cost.





What are the basic rules?


1-Power must come from an automotive electric starter motor intended for a four cylinder car. A typical unit comes from a Toyota Corolla (available used from auto junk yard for about $35).


2-Battery must be automotive, wet-cell, 12 volt battery with maximum 640 CCA (cost is approximately $50 but may be available cheaper from an auto junk yard).


3-Must use four, low-speed wheels, size 4.10/3.50-4 Available from Harbor Freight, Northern Tool, Tractor Supply, etc (cost approximately $9 each). NOTE #1--You may replace the wheel bearing with an improved unit on the drive wheel only (the other three wheels must use the stock bearing). NOTE # 2--You may replace the tire on the drive wheel only with any suitable kart tire (because the standard tires wear so quickly on the drive wheel). The other three wheels must remain standard type.


4-Must have at least one wheel brake. "Scrub" brakes are acceptable.


5-Must be one-wheel, chain drive.


6-No expensive digital speed controls allowed. Must use only on-off function for speed control (via solenoid).


7-Vehicle must be no longer than 42" and no wider than 32". Minumum weight is 40 lbs (to discourage high cost, exotic materials).


8-Chassis and frame may be constructed from steel, aluminum, PVC, wood, etc.





Can teams design their own vehicles?


Yes. That is the goal of the Formula CCM Electric Vehicle Challenge. We are hoping that this competition will inspire creative designs by competing teams. As long as the vehicle complies with the rules, any design that is judged to be safe will be welcome.





What about teams that "don't know where to begin" or have limited design experience?


CCM Engineering is hoping that funding will be available to provide "kits" for teams with less technical expertise.


CCM Engineering will also provide "turn-key" AutoCAD plans online for teams that do not wish to design their own vehicle.





What is the "Competition"?


The competition involves laying out a small "circuit" with 7 traffic cones at your school or site and recording data and various performance tests. These will include maximum distance traveled, average speed, acceleration, braking, "G" loads and other related data. The circuit is a small-footprint layout that limits speeds and will not need a lot of space.


After you have recorded the data for your vehicle, you can e-mail this info to CCM to be posted on our official Formula-CCM Challenge website. In this manner, you will be able to compare your results to other teams who have also built a Formula-CCM vehicle.


Depending on circumstances, CCM may also host an on-site Reliability Trial Challenge and invite teams to demonstrate their Formula CCM Challenge Vehicles "in person". During this "in person" Challenge, teams may also compete for awards in Creative Engineering, Craftsmanship and Efficiency.




While not required, teams are encouraged to add on-board telemetry, on-board video cameras and GPS recorders to their vehicles. The use of various iPhone "apps" (instant velocity, G-force, etc) are also encouraged. It is hoped that teams will share videos on Youtube or similar websites.


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