will hold the inaugural Electric Vehicle Grand Prix on April 18
as part of a program to educate a new generation of highly skilled
workers to design, build and service electric vehicles.
vehicles represent the future, and we're getting students not
only prepared but excited about that future," said James Caruthers,
director of the Indiana Advanced Electric Vehicle Training and
Education Consortium (I-AEVtec) and a Purdue professor of chemical
Barack Obama last year announced that Purdue would lead the consortium,
a $6.1 million effort funded through the U.S. Department of Energy
with money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The
consortium will develop degree and training programs for the electric-vehicle
industry, which is expected to grow dramatically in coming decades.
About 60 students
in several Purdue courses are involved in developing the evGrandPrix.
"This is a
large interdisciplinary effort and the first electric vehicle
Grand Prix-style go-kart race for college students in the nation,"
Caruthers said. "It's the perfect vehicle for engaging students
in a wide variety of electro-mechanical technologies." Indiana
Gov. Mitch Daniels, in his state of the state address in January,
said, "2009 was the year when several young companies who may
lead the electric vehicle industry chose Indiana for their plants.
Many of their suppliers are following them. Our goal is to be
the capital of this potentially massive industry of tomorrow."
working with Notre Dame University, Indiana University-Purdue
University Indianapolis, Ivy Tech Community College, Purdue University
Calumet and Indiana University Northwest to develop the degree
and training programs to support the emerging electric vehicle
industry. The educational institutions in the I-AEVtec consortium
will create about 28 courses over the next three years for programs
including an associate degree and electric vehicle technology
certificates as part of bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees
in various engineering and technology disciplines.
indicate electric vehicles may represent one-third of all vehicles
sold by 2025," said Paul Mitchell, president and CEO of Energy
Systems Network, an initiative of the Central Indiana Corporate
Partnership focusing on clean energy technologies in the state.
"Indiana companies are producing electric vehicles and many of
the critical components, including motors, power controllers and
batteries. At the same time, the state's institutions of higher
education are very strong in the kinds of technical disciplines
needed to provide highly skilled workers for industries related
to electric vehicles."
the formal coursework, the evGrandPrix has been developed to provide
hands-on experience in electro-mechanical technology, Caruthers
will race in the first annual evGrandPrix at 1 p.m. on April 18
at Purdue’s Grand Prix track in West Lafayette. The race will
last about an hour, with the vehicles taking roughly 100 laps.
are built on a platform - called a kart - a tubular-steel frame
5 feet long and 44 inches wide. They will be capable of accelerating
faster than traditional gas powered go-karts, but will be restricted
to a top speed of about 35 mph for safety purposes, Caruthers