For a second year in a row ABB and employees of Quebec City’s Pierre-Ardouin facility supported Université Laval’s Alérion team, as they participated in the Compétition Supermileage de Québec—and won. The goal of this inter-university competition is to design and manufacture a vehicle prototype that consumes the least possible energy.
This year’s competition was held for the first time on the Université Laval campus in Quebec City. Participating teams were comprised of students from science and engineering faculties, and their job was to design and build all the vehicle’s components: engine, steering, chassis, transmission, electronics and more. Welcoming nearly 150 students spread across eight teams from all over North America, the competition continues the tradition established by the now defunct SAE Supermileage Competition, which has been held at different locations annually for almost 40 years.
“The design work required for this project draws from key learnings that are integral parts of our degree program,” said Olivier Culat, a third-year mechanical engineering student on the team. “These include planning, technical drawing, mechanics, and electronics, among others. This initiative provides us with valuable hands-on experience,” he added.
During the Quebec City endurance event, the vehicles lap the track for a distance of approximately 20 kilometres over 90 minutes, and the winner is determined based on the vehicules’ fuel consumption.
This year’s results were stellar with the Alérion team winning top honours in the internal combustion engine category, garnering 870 points out of a possible 1,000. The team’s closest competitor amassed 706 points. The Alérion team has been racing in competitions for over 20 years and currently holds the North American record for best fuel efficiency with 1749 km per liter of gasoline.
“Thanks to ABB, we've been able to take our vehicle to two competitions,” said Culat, who will take on the role of director of the team in 2023-2024. “ABB’s support has enabled us to rise to a number of challenges in technical matters such of reliability, getting new designs to work or improving certain current designs, and also in terms of recruitment and media coverage,” he added.
“Quebec City is one of Canada’s major innovation ecosystems and a booming hub in hi-technology entrepreneurship. Given Pierre Ardouin’s 50 years of local history in developing cutting-edge technology, standing behind Université Laval’s Alérion team to support local talent development fits with our belief in giving back to our community and promoting sustainability,” said Marc Corriveau, Local business manager for Process automation’s Measurement and Analytics division.