Tektronix and Oxford Brookes Take on Research and Testing of Equipment for Electric Race Cars

November 27, 2020 by Stephanie Leonida

Tektronix provides equipment for students of the UK-based Oxford Brookes Racing team to test and validate prototypes of a single-seater electric race car.

Tektronix is a technology company that aims to provide global industries with effective test and measurement products and solutions to generate insights for further technological innovation. Tektronix technologies and solutions accommodate a variety of applications and industries including automotive, education, and teaching labs, high-speed serial communications, material science and engineering, advanced research, and more. 

Recently the company teamed up with UK-based Oxford Brookes Racing (OBR) from Oxford Brookes University. The collaboration involved a team of students who used Tektronix’s test & measurement equipment to help build their first electric car. 


Tektronix and the OBR team come together to help build and test electrical system concepts within the field of motorsports. Image used courtesy of Tektronix


Tektronix And OBR Unite

For innovations in electric vehicle (EVs) designs to progress, technological powerhouses like Tektronix and pioneering minds in academia are coming together to push forward potentially game-changing ideas. Tektronix and OBR are an example of such collaborative progress. The OBR team created prototypes of their electrical system concepts and used Tektronix for advanced inverter and high voltage system development to test and validate them.

In a recent news release, Vice President, EMEA Commercial Operations at Tektronix, Maria Heriz said that the company is “very excited at the opportunity to support OBR with their electronic engineering practice at Oxford Brookes University with Tektronix and Keithley equipment in an effort to ‘Go Green,’” Heriz added that “vehicle electrification will continue to increase and accelerate in the decade to come. The connected car, new powertrains, regulations, and advances in power electronic technology are coming together to create a new blueprint for automobiles."

Since the beginning of the Formula Student, an annual engineering competition held in the UK, the OBR group have been taking part. The group is made up of 70 students who share a combined goal of designing, manufacturing and racing, a single-seater electric race car. It was during the 2019/2020 Formula Student season that the change from combustion designs moved toward electric.


Members from Tektronix and members of the OBR team. Image used courtesy of Tektronix


Forecasts from Bloomberg New Energy Finance detail that UK EV sales will rise from 3.4% of all vehicles sold in 2019 to 5.5% in 2020. Along with an increasing demand for electric powered vehicles, the need for more comprehensive research into more efficient energy storage battery systems and vehicle structural designs is also increasing. Collaborations like that between Tektronix and the ORB team are critical in the progressive transition from combustion to EVs. 

Associate Lecturer at Oxford Brookes University, Brady Planden expressed that the equipment being supplied by Tektronix has allowed students to learn new skills and develop expertise required to build an award-winning Formula Student vehicle. The partnership has also grown research in the area of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) for Oxford Brookes University. 

Planden said the opportunity brings together like-minded researchers and students wishing to work on a similar goal. Planden also showed enthusiasm for continued collaboration with Tektronix and looks forward to future success.