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Backing the kids and EV technology

Evolocity is a programme for secondary school students that encourages them to design and build electric two-and three-wheeled vehicles. MTA is backing the programme because it's a great way to introduce youngsters to a career involving mechanical and electrical engineering.

Great fun for students

Evolocity is a nationwide initiative funded by a range of companies. It brings secondary school students together to design, build and compete in their EVs at regional and national competitions. Students and their teachers are provided with a kit containing all the electric motor components, sensors, schematics, and diagrams needed.

This year’s competitions will be the fourth for EVolocity and over 80 schools around the country are starting to gear up in preparation.

Otaki College EV champions

One of them is Otaki College, where former mechanical engineer and now head of the technology department, Chris Georgetti, has led students to EVolocity success.

“Our EVs from the last two years have won several regional and a few of the national competition classes.”

He’s running an after-school club for students taking on the EVolocity challenge. “We’re thinking about starting another vehicle from scratch but also making improvements to our three-wheeler, which we’ve been developing and competing with for the past two years.”

Chris says two of the students from the 2017 EVolocity project took on electrician apprentices. “One was back at the school last year helping wire up the new block of classrooms.” Fourteen- year-old Manawatoa Nakhla was part of last year’s design and build team and says it was a lot of fun. “We built the two-wheel bike and modified the three-wheeler.” Manawa is thinking about whether he’ll go into electrical engineering, or possibly marine engineering like his older brother. “I definitely want to be an engineer.”

MTA Chief Executive Craig Pomare says, “Supporting this type of innovative, practical learning project is a natural fit for us. We want young people to be able to get hands-on experience of the technology and skills needed within the trades associated with EVs. If we can spark interest in modern-day vehicle technology among some of these kids, that’s a win for us.”