PODCAST: 5 Student EV Teams Leading the Charge

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At Electric Auto Shop Podcast, we talk a lot about students building alternative fuel vehicles, so when it came time to plan our next episode, we decided to profile 5 of the newest and/or most famous student EV teams out there:  PODCAST LISTEN HERE

  1. Minddrive uses “the real-world issues of our times to teach urban students critical thinking, creativity, entrepreneurship and how to improve their future by expanding their vision for themselves.”  They built an electric Karmen Ghia in 2013 that was powered by social media.
  2. Hereford High School: Finished first in the California Challenge, the final event of the Electric Vehicle Grand Prix competition and part of the Solar Decathlon and XPO, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy and hosted by the University of California, Irvine.
  3. DUT Racing from The Netherlands’ Delft University of Technology beat the standing record for 0-100 km/h (62 mph) in an electric car. On September 20, the students hit the mark in 2.15 seconds, besting the previous time of 2.68 seconds by just over half a second. DUT Racing built the DUT12 to compete in last year’s Formula Student competition. The group’s second electric car, the update from the DUT11 introduced a four-wheel drive system comprising four individual motors.
  4. Santa Monica High School: After four years, Team Marine — a group of students from 14 to 18 years old — finished replacing the red convertible’s combustion engine and gas tank with an electric motor and a 30-kilowatt-hour lithium iron phosphate battery pack.  Their electric car is called the “Volts Watson.”
  5. Tustin High School has been mentioned on this blog a few times already.  They were the runners up in the California Challenge in the Energy Invitation Class.  The team was featured on PBS Socal’s Real Orange.

In the news, we looked at major announcements supporting the use of alternative fuels in the United States and in Europe. The governors of California, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island and Vermont each pledged to boost investments to encourage growth of zero-emission vehicles. The goal is to have 3.3 million low-impact vehicles on the states’ combined highways within a dozen years to cut back on greenhouse-gas emissions.

Perhaps the government should back off these alternative fuel vehicle targets.  Earlier this year, the Obama administration had to back off claims that it would have 1 Million alternative fuel vehicles on the road by 2015.

Nobody yet knows what the winning automotive fuel of the future will be. By 2050, it could be electricity, compressed natural gas, harmless biofuels, hydrogen cells or a combination of all of these. One sure thing is that it won’t be either petrol or diesel. The EU is aiming to “de-carbonise” transport by halving the use of conventionally fueled cars by 2030 and then phasing them out altogether by 2050, according to Mark Major, the European Commission’s enthusiastic point man for “sustainable urban mobility”.

Coca Cola Hybrid Distribution TrucksCoca-Cola will deploy more than 30 alternative fuel vehicles in select cities across the US by the end of 2013, the company has announced. Half of these vehicles are refrigerated electric delivery trucks that will carry Coca-Cola’s Odwalla brand juices and beverages. Coca-Cola’s alternative fuel fleet includes hybrid-electric, liquid natural gas and compressed natural gas vehicles. Together, these vehicles reduce emissions equivalent to removing 10,000 cars from the road annually.

Despite the fact that they are both zero-emission vehicle technologies that can be powered by renewable energy, there’s no question that advocates of plug-in electric vehicles and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles are sometimes at odds with each other. So, it’s nice when we get a somewhat neutral analysis of the two technologies, and that’s what a commentary written by Carlos Uribe, a Seeking Alpha Market Exclusive contributor, does, laying out why EVs will win, hands down.

There’s an old joke about hydrogen power: It’s the fuel of the future, and always will be. Elon Musk doesn’t just agree, he called out hydrogen fuel cell vehicles as “bull$#@t,” claiming they’re more of a marketing ploy for automakers than a long-term solution.

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About Alex Campbell
“Alex” is a creative writer, editor, blogger, and digital marketing professional seeking freelance opportunities in marketing, communications, social media, public relations, investor relations, government relations, sales and service. Offers over 20 years experience elevating brands, sharing stories and driving sales for interesting, innovative and disruptive products, services and new technologies.

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