High Schoolers Build Electric Car
With carmakers scrambling to meet President Obama's new standards for gas mileage and emissions, six North Central Florida high school students are ahead of the curve. The students built a street legal electric car, and the idea started with another four wheeled vehicle -- only a much smaller one.
The electric car was built by 6 Trenton High School students in the school's engineering academy, but they actually built a motorized skateboard first.
"Gas prices were about 4.15 a gallon and that's just ridiculous," said Trenton High Junior Jacob Wilson, "and we wanted to find a way to be able to commute and use transportation that's cheap and more efficient so it started with the skate board project."
After the skate board project proved to be a success, the students moved on to the car. It's powered by 10 batteries total, 8 for the traction system and 2 for the electronics, and it costs the equivalent of 88 cents per charge. Each charge is good for roughly 40 miles of driving at a top speed of about 60 miles per hour. With a 40 horse power motor that only uses about 12 of them, the project's supervisor says it's highly efficient.
"As compared to the gasoline engine which is about 18 percent efficient," said Trenton High Director of Engineering Technology Don Barselou, "these electric motors that we're employing are anywhere between 85 and 97 percent efficient. There's no pollution, they burn clean."
If you think the 6 students that spent the last 6 months on the project are complacent, think again. They say there's plenty more work to do.
"Making the car more efficient," listed Wilson, "making it better. Make it go longer. Make it go faster. Start converting actual cars instead of outdoor vehicles, it's whatever."
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