Students electric vehicles put to the test in EVolocity
The buzz was electric as students saw nine months of hard work come to fruition with Waikato's EVolocity regional final 2016 held at Kartsport in Hamilton on Friday.
Fifteen schools competed in the inaugural event which got students to design, build and race their own electric vehicles. The concept is run by the Waikato Engineering Careers Association.
Tauhara College won the overall bike category and St John's College took out the cart division.
Denis Mansell and his team from Tauhara College, Taupo, worked for 100 hours on their project, and were nervous and excited to put their bike into competition.
"We are much more advanced than we thought we were, we thought we would have a lot more competition. Looking around the pit lane, we thought there would be few more opposition."
Mansell, the senior rider, had only spent two hours in the saddle of their concept, which was based around the bike Burt Munro used after the boys watched the World's Fastest Indian.
"In comparison to a normal bike, it's quite different as you are so low to the ground, your knees are pretty close to the ground," Mansell said.
In the cart category, Mansell was impressed with the ideas that the various schools had come up with.
"I've been having a good look around. There are some really good designs.
Hauraki Plains college student Marc McDermott and his crew gathered material from their engineering classroom to make their cart.
"We are actually pretty excited just to get here, as we spent quite a lot of time the night before just trying to actually get things like the chain guard and electrics finished.
"It's been a challenge to actually get it going and working properly, but it's not actually that much of a challenge doing the actual events," McDermott said.
Regional coordinator Levinia Paku has been surprised by the calibre of the vehicles the students produced.
"They have exceeded my expectations for secondary school students. They've done some amazing stuff, like kiting the bodies out.
She hopes that more schools get involved next year.
"It's about inspiring them around green technology. It's about encouraging them to think about the future in terms of electrical vehicles. It's also allowing them to think about career choices in terms of technology and engineering space. It's creating our next generation of engineers."
The national finals are in Christchurch on November 27.
- Waikato Times