PR LAHORE - Despite the imminent rise in the use of electric vehicles globally, Pakistan is expected to lag behind in its adoption, as is the case with most new technologies. Now a team of students from Pakistan Navy Engineering College, a part of National University of Sciences and Technology, is aiming to change that.

Formula Electric Racing – NUST, composed entirely of undergraduate engineering students, is a Formula Student team working since 2014. The only Pakistani Formula Student team working with electric technology, it built Pakistan’s first formula-styled electric vehicle in 2016.

The team has now manufactured its second car and is set to participate in IMechE Formula Student UK 2018. The event will be held at the historic Silverstone Circuit from 11th to 15th July 2018. Formula Student UK is one of the largest competitions of its kind, attracting top teams from around the world.

The team has previously participated in Formula SAE Electric 2016, US, finishing at a respectable 18 out of 29 universities.“It was a great result given it was our first ever participation in the event.” said the team lead, Shariq Waqar, a student of electrical engineering.

The team, which has its own in-house communications team drawn entirely from engineering students, aims to raise awareness regarding rising pollution and help introduce the culture of electric vehicles in Pakistan, besides promoting STEM education in an inclusive manner.

The team embarks on year-round campaigns to promote the various causes. The team has, among others a campaign centered around women empowerment called WISE (‘women in science and engineering’), hoping to encourage girls to join STEM fields. “We feel that women are vastly underrepresented in STEM fields and it’s about time we did something about it,” said Rida Arshad, who serves as the marketing lead for the team. As part of the campaign, the team visited numerous schools and colleges in Karachi, highlighting the impact women have made in science and engineering.

The team also gathered to help Make A Wish Foundation fulfill wishes of several children. The team has also collaborated with IAmKarachi, an NGO, to promote Pakistan’s heritage through monuments in the city.

To bring more attention towards its venture, the team also takes part in various competitions and conferences such as ITIF Asia and Momentum Tech, to name a few. “It is difficult to receive the attention this project deserves,” said Taha Rizvi, team manager. Still, the team was able to gather enough funds to enable them to participate this year. The team’s activities were funded by Faizan Steel, DLI Logistics, and General Tyres.

With the competition looming, the team is preparing to go all in with its preparation. “Our ultimate aim is to represent Pakistan successfully. That’s the only thing that matters,” added Dr Bilal, the team’s faculty advisor.