University 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 engineering.
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
60 students in several Purdue courses are involved in
developing the evGrandPrix.
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
is 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.
projections 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,
go-karts 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.
vehicles 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 said.
will be based on a combination of race performance, energy
efficiency, engineering design and community outreach.
Additional information about the 2010 evGrandPrix is available
development and construction is the centerpiece of a new
Purdue course in electric vehicle technology, in which
24 students are enrolled. The students, who are organized
into four teams, each of which will race their karts,
are learning about various aspects of electric vehicles,
including battery technology, vehicle construction, electronic
controls and braking systems.
construction of go-karts is an excellent vehicle for teaching
electro-mechanical technology," Caruthers said. The work
is academically demanding, said Michael Kane, an associate
professor of computer and information technology and one
of the faculty members teaching the course.
example, students are doing the stress analysis equations
for the frame, which involves a complex finite element
modeling to determine the proper thickness for welds on
the karts," he said.
addition to the go-karts being developed in the electric
vehicle technology course, the competition includes additional
student teams from computer information technology, electrical
and computer technology, women in technology, mechanical
engineering technology and industrial engineering.
evGrandPrix is not affiliated with the Purdue Grand Prix,
to be held on April 24, which is a charity gasoline-powered
kart race held annually at Purdue to raise scholarship
money for Purdue students.
Emil Venere, 765-494-4709, firstname.lastname@example.org
James Caruthers, 765-494-6625, email@example.com
Michael D. Kane, 765 494-2564, firstname.lastname@example.org
Steven Dunlop, 765 494-5861, email@example.com
Steve Shelby, 765-494-5952, firstname.lastname@example.org