Tesla is going to start sponsoring Formula SAE electric racing teams with free battery cells and discounted hardware.

The automaker has often hired former students who participated in these competitions.

Formula SAE is an organization that puts together student competitions in the field of mobility.

Over the last decade, electric vehicles have been popular with the teams of student engineers entering the contests.

It provides them with real experience building electric vehicles in a competitive setting.

Tesla has been hiring a lot of students who participated in Formula SAE competitions after the fact.

Now the automaker wants to get involved earlier in the process and directly sponsor some teams.

John Furtado, a staff mechanical design engineer at Tesla, wrote on LinkedIn about the genesis behind Tesla’s involvement in the competition:

“Last summer, several of us from Tesla volunteering at the Formula SAE events were dismayed at the number of electric vehicles competing and started discussing what Tesla might be able to do to help accelerate that transition. Pretty excited to be able to share this sponsorship opportunity, just in time for the holidays. If your team is planning to enter any of next year’s Formula Student events as an EV, act fast since applications are due Wednesday the 29th.”

Furtado, who participated in Formula SAE competitions when he was a student at Western Washington University, shared the application form, but today is the deadline to apply.

Tesla wrote in the form:

“As a part of Tesla’s mission to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy, we will be supporting university student teams aspiring to build electric vehicles as part of Formula SAE and Formula Student competitions around the world.”

The automaker will offer two options to the teams that it will sponsor.

They can choose to get up to 1,000 Tesla battery cells or a heavy discount from Enepaq, which makes custom components for prototypes:

  1. Up to 1000 high-performance 18650 cylindrical cells shipped to the team free of charge. Teams may choose between a high-energy and a high-power cell, depending on their application.
  2. An 80% discount on pre-built modules and other hardware supplied by Enepaq (formerly Energus Power Systems), up to an order limit of €20,000.

Furthermore, Tesla said that it will also “offer sponsored teams the opportunity to review their designs with some of the world’s leading electric powertrain engineers and will provide guidance through the design and validation process.”

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