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Sustainability in Formula Student - Oxford Brookes Racing Leads The Way


Across motorsport, great strides have been made to make travel, fuel and even cars more sustainable over the last decade. From the introduction of revolutionary E10 fuel into Formula 1, to the launch of entire eco-friendly series such as Extreme E, minimising the impact of our work on the environment has become a focal point for Oxford Brookes Racing.

Watch OBR's Alejandro Garcia explain how OBR is championing sustainability:

By switching to electric power, OBR has aligned itself with an increasing trend in competitive motorsport, as well as the automotive industry at large. With the inception of Formula E, Extreme E and Formula 1 firmly in the hybrid era, student engineers already working with electrical equipment are likely to gain an advantage in the job market - especially as a UK-wide ban on new petrol cars takes effect from 2030. It is no secret that electric power will become the dominant force in both road cars and motorsports, and we are proud to be at the forefront of that shift.

This was one of the guiding factors in our decision to fully switch to electric power, adopting a radical and ambitious motor design. With independent control over motors in all four wheels, our car is able to operate more efficiently than its predecessors, therefore reducing the electrical charge required and increasing the car’s sustainability. This presented a number of challenges, which partners such as RS Components have helped us overcome with aplomb. 

Watch OBR's Tom Sluiters give a complete run-through of how electric cars are more sustainable:

This year, we have also used recycled carbon fibre to make key elements such as our steering wheel. Whilst regular offcuts of carbon fibre would simply be thrown away, we have utilised a process whereby otherwise landfill-bound material is given a new life on our car. Combined with critical elements from RS Components, this process has enabled us to create our most sustainable car in 21 years of racing.

Whilst we have a long way to go before perfecting our ambitious plans, our OBR21 challenger laid the groundwork for a decade of Formula Student cars - each with sustainability planted firmly at the centre. As the global conversation around protecting the planet heats up, we are proud to be doing our part as a future-facing team developing future-facing student engineers.

For more information on OBR, watch our members detail how RS Components help us achieve our objectives, as we build our first-ever all-electric car.

Thomas Godfrey is a member of Oxford Brookes Racing, the UK’s premier student racing team.

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