The EVolocity programme, a programme helping generate students’ interest in the field of alternative and sustainable energy, returns to Taranaki in 2022.
EVolocity was brought to the region in 2021, as a result of the programme’s regional partnership with Ara Ake and education partnership with WITT, where over 60 high school students from schools around Taranaki were involved.
The EVolocity programme provides high school students with the opportunity to design and build an electric vehicle (EV) with the support of specialist mentors from WITT, to bring their creations alive and compete against their peers in the finals at the end of the year. It champions sustainability whilst inspiring young leaders to embrace careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, and teaching them how to use CAD design software, strength and rigidity considerations, steering, welding, drag and resistance, and Arduino programming.
Ara Ake and WITT are back on board as EVolocity partners in 2022, alongside the Motor Trade Association, and New Zealand-based EV charging producer, Evnex.
Ara Ake Chief Executive, Dr Cristiano Marantes, is thrilled that EVolocity is available to Taranaki schools again this year.
“EVolocity encourages our young leaders to think more about the specific skills that contribute to a low emissions future for Aotearoa New Zealand.
“2021 demonstrated the students’ appetite to be creative, technical and innovative, and this year we hope it stimulates and grows their confidence and passion further,” concludes Marantes.
EVolocity Chief Executive, Sarah Fitzgerald is looking forward to building on the success of the 2021 programme in Taranaki.
“EVolocity is a fantastic way for our rangatahi to learn about engineering, design and project management with real-world applications using sustainable clean technologies,” says Fitzgerald.
“EVolocity is more than a STEM programme, it fosters innovation and teamwork and encourages students to solve challenges in front of them.
“Together with our partners Ara Ake and WITT, we are investing in our young people and it is incredibly rewarding to see our students and sponsors come together on race day to celebrate their achievement.”
As the education partner, WITT are providing access to the support and resources that the students require for building their EVs, including classrooms for the build days, technology for the design sessions, and hands on guidance from the staff.
WITT Director, Teaching Partnerships, Ben Naughton, says “At WITT, students will be given an insight into a range of pathway and career options. Our tutors have created pathways and will discuss possibilities within engineering diplomas and degrees, fabrication courses, electronics and software programming that could all lead from a programme like EVolocity. The practical ‘real world’ focus will lead students to actively pursue this as the future opportunities are growing both locally and internationally.”
“The students in this programme are gaining early experience in energy and engineering could open doors for rangatahi anywhere in the world. Students currently have so many options and the future is bright!” concludes Naughton.
There are over 70 Taranaki students registered for 2022, and registrations are still open and encouraged.
This year’s programme has been adjusted, and the teams will be working towards a final scrutineering in September where students will ensure they are safe and ready to race. The Taranaki regional finals are due to be held on Sunday, 16 October, and the National Finals are scheduled for Sunday, 4 December in Kartsport Hamilton.
High school teams are equipped with an electric bike componentry kit. During the course of the year, guided by teachers and mentors, they design and build their own electric vehicles. At the end of the year, they bring their vehicles to a motorsport park for to compete. Winners from each regional event go on to the national event. The end of year event also features demonstrations and test drives of electric bikes, go karts, motor bikes and cars, educating the public as to what is available and dispelling myths around the performance capabilities of EVs. For more information, please visit evolocity.co.nz.
About Te Kura Matatina o Taranaki (WITT)
WITT is the largest tertiary education institution in the province of Taranaki, New Zealand. The institute has two campuses around Taranaki; the main campus is situated in New Plymouth, and the other is located in Hāwera. For more information, please visit witt.ac.nz.