Frans Seda Electric Car: Energy-Saving Car, Current Solution from Atma Jaya Catholic University of Indonesia

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The earth we live in is aging. From time to time, the energy resources from the earth have slowly become less and less. What would happen when the energy resources from earth were not available anymore? Surely this will badly affect the lives of human beings.

Before everything is too late, it is high time that we started saving the energy resources from the earth like what eight students of Faculty of Engineering, Atma Jaya Catholic University (ACU), Mateus Dylan, Jansen Paulus, Tommy, Jordy, Mikael Timotius, Nicky, Surya Adi, and Andri do. They invented the energy-saving car, or more precisely the electric car. The invention of the energy-saving electric car came as a result of these 8 students’ participation in the Energy-Saving Car Contest 2018 held by Kemenristekdikti (Ministry of research, technology, and Higher Education. The car was named after Frans Seda, one of the founders of ACU. FYI, the Frans Seda electric car was the second type of car sent by ACU for the Energy-Saving Car Contest 2018. Previously in 2017 students of the Faculty of Engineering also participated in the event in the hybrid car category.

With the supervision from two lecturers of Mechanical Engineering Program, namely Marten Darmawan and Arka Soewono, it took the students approximately one year to complete the process of making the  Frans Seda electric car.

“The invention of this car has gone through various research such as the aerodynamic aspect, the construction of car skeleton, and so on. Afterward, the basic design of the car such as its machine, its skeleton, and so on, as well as minor systems such as electricity, was made. It takes about a year to make this car,” said Marten Darmawan, the lecturer who acted as Principal Supervisor of the Frans Seda electric car project.

According to Marten, the cost of making this electric car was 50 million IDR. The cost included the spare parts, skeleton, machine, electricity systems, and others. Fortunately, there were several generous donators willing to provide help for the project such as one of the lecturers of Mechanical Engineering Program who donated a car body for this project.

Students of Mechanical Engineering Program participate in several car contests regularly. They took part in several contests such as Program Kreativitas Mahasiswa (Student Creativity Program) that has been held for five years now. Last year in 2018 there were several students competing in  Pekan Ilmiah Mahasiswa Nasional (Students’ National Scientific Week)

Actually, the Frans Seda electric car is not very different from other electric cars in the market. However, the Frans Seda electric car was designed and researched by taking a variety of aspects into account so that it has the ability to save more energy.

“The concept of this car does not view energy saving from its machine, but view it as saving the car’s energy. We designed the car by paying attention to the aspects of aerodynamics, weight, electricity consumption so that energy can be saved,” Marten pointed out.

Marten also explained that to compete in the Energy-Saving Car Contest 2019, the Frans Seda electric car will be redesigned to improve its performance. It is also possible that the students, who belong to Tim Workshop Mesin (Machine Workshop Team of ACU, will expand to another category when participating in the Energy-Saving Car Contest 2019. All these achievements show that students of the Mechanical Engineering Program are able to give their contributions to creating a useful product.

“It is possible to mass-produce the car, but it is a long-term process. The most immediate use of this electric car is probably for showcasing purposes. That is, to show that students of Mechanical Engineering Program are able to develop useful products in an innovative and productive way,” said Marten.

Hopefully, the Frans Seda electric car may make the public aware that there are several feasible ways to save energy as maximally and creatively as possible.