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UVic Formula Hybrid

The Team

UVic Hybrid is a student team that supports members in acquiring diverse skills in sustainable energy and automotive applications. Our team is composed primarily of students from electrical, mechanical, and software engineering, as well as business, commerce, and other faculties. The nature of the team encourages students with diverse skill sets to collaborate for a unified initiative which greatly improves their employability.

UVic Hybrid competes annually in the Formula Hybrid competition as part of the SAE Collegiate Design Series. The Formula Hybrid competition challenges teams of university undergraduate and graduate students to design, fabricate, and compete with small, formula-style, hybrid-powered cars. The competition takes place in New Hampshire and is open to international teams. Performance is evaluated in terms of its acceleration, braking, and handling qualities. Developing a winning car requires students to follow complicated regulations, work cross-discipline, manage projects, and secure their own funding.

The Vehicle

UVic Hybrid believes the competition is best addressed by building the vehicle with the best performance. This means starting with a gas-only vehicle and using simulations to choose the ideal electrification of its powertrain. The team develops custom components to achieve this goal while keeping the vehicle lightweight and durable. This has allowed us to place first at our competition in 2016 and 2019.

Our 2019 vehicle featured a 2014 KTM 250 SX-F motorcross engine and a Saietta 119R electric motor. The motor was fed power by a Kelly Controls motor controller and our team-made ultracapacitor energy storage system. Although this little pack only held 74 Wh of energy its ultracapacitor nature made discharge of up to 600A possible with no thermal issues. The total combined power of the vehicle is around 75kW and the 0-60 time is around 5.5 seconds. Total weight is 566 lbs wet.

Our PCBs

Most of the electronics on our vehicle must be highly customizable to meet the demands of a hybrid application. They must also be very robust to resist the effects of high current paths nearby and racecar levels of vibration. Off-the-shelf customizable, robust electronics are usually way too heavy to justify adding to our vehicle, so we build our own wherever possible. 


The CANduino is an Arduino on a circuit-board with CAN functionality through MCP2515/2551 chips on the board. We use this board to prototype projects instead of an Arduino with a CAN shield because it is a complete package that we can easily and cheaply manufacture (with the help of PCBWay). CAN functionality is a requirement because it is the main communication bus for our vehicle.

It also serves as a basis for prototypes based on it. As we have all the design files, designers can start with this board, change the dimensions to match their project, and add all their components to it. This way the designers can rest assured that it will behave just like the prototype. 

Power Distribution Unit (PDU)

The PDU provides switched or constant power to components on the vehicle. It has several digital switches using MOSFETs and relays, PWM functionality where required (like for the radiator fan), and uses the CANduino as a template. It also houses the main shutdown relays which are required as per the rules of the Formula Hybrid competition.

The main challenge of this board for designers is its high density given that we wanted to stick to a two-layer board. 

PCBWay and UVic Hybrid

By partnering with UVic Hybrid, PCBWay increases its radius of influence on young electrical engineering students in Victoria, British Columbia. These students often require PCBs for their school projects or personal project and the relationships they establish with suppliers while in school will carry forward with them to the workplace.

It is also very advantageous to UVic Hybrid as we can more readily build PCBs for the vehicle and train electrical engineers for their bigger, more critical projects. It is also beneficial to UVic Hybrid to develop a relationship with the designers at PCBWay so that their valued feedback can have the greatest influence on future designs.  

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Oct 23,2019
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