BTU team Lausitz Dynamics energy-efficient with the LaDy-Gator in southern France

Once again, a highly motivated team of students from the Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus-Senftenberg (BTU) will be competing with their vehicle in one of the world's largest energy efficiency competitions. It will be held in Nogaro from May 19 to 24, 2024.

Since October 2023, the newly formed 14-member Lausitz Dynamics team has been preparing intensively for participation in the Shell Eco-marathon® Europe and Africa. Students from the Electrical Engineering, Medical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Business Administration and Engineering study programmes are working together on an interdisciplinary basis at the Senftenberg site under the direction of Prof. Dr. Sylvio Simon and the technical guidance of staff members Shadi Sykora and Sindy Schmidt.

The aim of the competition is to research climate-neutral mobility and sustainable energy sources. More than 200 teams from all over Europe and Africa compete here with their self-developed energy-saving vehicles. All teams try to cover a given distance using as little energy as possible rather than at high speed.

For the Lausitz Dynamics team, the main task during the preparation phase was to optimize their battery-powered prototype vehicle, named LaDy-Gator, which will complete the laps on the competition course with a new look and the starting number 311.

Optimizations and innovations to the vehicle
"In order to work out the driving strategy, we drew on measurement data from last year so that the vehicle is always operated with the highest possible efficiency. This is primarily dependent on the elevation profile of the 1,600-meter laps of the Circuit Paul Armagnac de Nogaro," reports Sindy Schmidt. "For a valid result, ten laps, 16 kilometers, must be completed in 39 minutes. In preparation, the two drivers Paulina Eiselt and Christian Meier completed over 120 test kilometers in the simulator and on the Dekra Lausitzring."
Among other things, the engine controller was reprogrammed to increase engine efficiency. At the same time, the wheel bearings were replaced with ceramic bearings, which are coated with special lubricants to reduce rolling friction.
One important task was to reduce air resistance. The rear wheel arch was reduced in size for this purpose. The reduction in the size of the chassis was accompanied by a reduction in the vehicle mass, which further reduced fuel consumption. Further mass reductions resulted from the reduction in the size of the drive battery and the replacement of steel struts with elements made of aluminum and carbon fiber composite material. When ready to drive, the new prototype weighs just 34 kilograms and has a range of 21 kilometers.

Strong support from the region
The optimization of the vehicle and the opportunity to participate in the international competition itself could only be realized with the help of numerous supporters.
For example, the wrapping in the new reptile design was carried out with the kind support of Senftenberg small businessman Michael Baer (Plottbaer Werbetechnik). Other local and regional partners supported the team. In particular, the tracks provided for the test rides at the Dekra Lausitzring were an important prerequisite for preparing for the marathon.
Donations in kind were also made in the form of company vehicles provided by partners LEAG Konferenzcenter, Kjellberg Finsterwalde and VWP for travel and transportation. The provision of catering by the REWE Radke family made it possible for the students to avoid paying their own contribution to the excursion. In addition, the trip to the Shell Eco-Marathon was made possible by numerous financial donations from regional and national supporters.

The vehicle is now ready to compete, and the Lausitz Dynamics team, which left the BTU Campus Senftenberg for France at around 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 18, will be taking part in the Shell Eco-marathon® from May 19 to 25, an exciting international competition in which as many kilometers as possible are covered per kilowatt hour of electrical energy.
This year, student team leader Niklas Flössel, drivers Paulina Eiselt and Christian Meier, team members Richard Witt and Bastian Markstädter as well as BTU employees Shadi Sykora and Sindy Schmidt will be on site .

Current results in the ongoing competition can be followed live during the marathon at Team Lausitz Dynamics also reports on its own experiences, progress and results on its website at and on its Instagram account

Team Lausitz Dynamics would like to thank all its supporters.

Specialist contact

Sindy Schmidt
T +49 (0) 3573 85-532

Press contact

Ralf-Peter Witzmann
Kommunikation und Marketing
T +49 (0) 3573 85-283
The student team Lausitz Dynamics after their return from the Shell Eco-marathon in France on the BTU campus in Senftenberg. Photo: Team Lausitz Dynamics
The BTU Lausitz Dynamics team celebrates passing the technical inspection in Nogaro, France, which is an important milestone in the Shell Eco-marathon. Photo: Team Lausitz Dynamics
The LaDyGator energy-saving vehicle during a test drive at the DEKRA Lausitzring. Photo: Team Lausitz Dynamics
The current Team Lausitz Dynamics. Photo: Team Lausitz Dynamics
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