Manila EAST students give EV trial run
Manila High School EAST Initiative students gave their electric vehicle (EV) a trial run on Wednesday, Feb. 1.
It took the team about a month to assemble and wire the EV, which arrived in lots of boxes.
Rob Roedel, manager, corporate communications with Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas, was in Manila in November to demonstrate an EV and talk to the students about the annual rally held each year at the Arkansas State Fairgrounds sponsored by the Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas.
The EVs cost approximately $6,500 and Manila received a grant from Mississippi County Electric Co. to purchase the kit.
"It has been a learning experience, Christy Woody, MHS EAST facilitator, said.
There is a team of about 10 students working on the EV project with Andrew Vassar serving as team captain.
Four of the team members, Vassar, Ryan Davison, Josh Galloway and Peyton Eudy, took the EV out for a trial run on Wednesday.
"The co-op left a demo model for the students to look at," Woody said. "It was helpful."
The demo and the Manila EV were driven in the school parking lot to see how the new one compared.
The basic EV is ready. There are components that cannot be altered, but the team can make adjustments as they test the EV to improve performance. The team is looking at how their EV to look and they are naturally leaning toward the school's colors. They also have to be prepared to fix any problem that arises during the rally.
There is also an academic quiz bowl held at the rally.
The electric car can be taken apart and used year after year for future students. Woody said Mr. Roedel informed them during his visit one of the first cars shown by one of the schools is still running after 12 years.
Team members were pleased with the performance of their car and will be looking at ways to improve before competition.
"I am sure we will learn a lot by talking to teams from other schools when we attend the rally," Vassar said. "This is our first year. We appreciate the opportunity to be part of this statewide project."