Version (draft) 0.1 - November, 1999
Last updated 1999.11.28
© Copyright 1999 - The Electric Vehicle Council of Ottawa (EVCO)
"Electrathon" is a registered trademark (Canada) of Glenn Houston, and is used here with permission.
This document and all its content are the copyright property of the Electric Vehicle Council of Ottawa. Reproduction in whole or in part by any means without the express written permission of EVCO is prohibited.
The Electric Vehicle Council of Ottawa
P.O. Box 4044,
2.3 THE VEHICLE
2.4 THE BATTERIES
2.5 THE DRIVER
2.7 THE COMPETITION
2.8 PROTESTS (DISPUTES, GRIEVANCES AND APPEALS)
3. PRIZES, COSTS AND SPONSORSHIP
3.3 TEAM SPONSORS
4. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION AND UPDATES
5. RECOMMENDATIONS AND TIPS
6. TEAM REGISTRATION AND LIABILITY WAIVER
7. TEAM MEMBER REGISTRATION AND WAIVER
8. INSPECTION CHECKLIST
Electrathon is an affordable transportation project intended to promote "hands-on" activity, creativity, enthusiasm, team spirit, state-of-the-art technology, responsibility, budgeting, safety rules, anti-pollution consciousness, mathematics and science knowledge, in a framework where teams can compete across North America (and around the world) on an even footing.
The 2000 EVCO Electrathon will be held Saturday, June 3, 2000 at the Capital City Speedway. This event is sponsored by the Electric Vehicle Council of Ottawa (EVCO) and is being organized by the EVCO Electrathon Organizing Committee of EVCO (EEOC).
Electrathon and similar events have been held around the world for more than ten years, using a variety of rules and formats. The EEOC has decided to implement a set of rules that permits the construction of a vehicle which would be capable of complying with the rules for the majority of these events. In general, the EEOC rules comprise the most restrictive versions of the various rules we have reviewed in the expectation of producing the safest and fairest event possible, while keeping the rules as simple as safety and fairness permit.
EVCO accepts no liability whatsoever for any damage or injury sustained by any party as a result of the construction or use of Electrathon vehicles or taking part in the Electrathon event.
Updates will be posted on the official EVCO Electrathon website at:
Information on last year's event can be found on the World Wide Web at:
and for the 1998 edition of the event at:
For the 2000 event, there will be two classes of competitors:
1) High School Electrathon Class (HSEC); and,
2) Open Class (OC).
This document covers the rules for the Open Class.
All vehicles must be registered with the EVCO Electrathon Organizing Committee (EEOC) in order to take part in the competition and to benefit from any sponsorship secured by the EEOC. A copy of the vehicle registration form is included in the appendices. The EEOC reserves the right to change the class the vehicle will participate in based on information on the registration form and additional information as required.
A registration fee applies for all entrants (vehicles). Please refer to the registration form (in the appendices) for fees and details.
The vehicle will be identified by a number, consisting of up to three digits, which will be assigned by the EEOC. The EEOC will attempt to accommodate requests for specific vehicle identification numbers, on a first-come, first-served basis. Leading zeroes need not be displayed for identification numbers of less than three digits.
All team members must be registered with the EEOC to have access to the pit and other restricted areas whenever vehicles are operating on the track. Team members that may participate as drivers must indicate this on their registration forms to be eligible to operate the vehicle during the competition.
Drivers will be identified by a combination of the vehicle number and a single letter, e.g. the first driver for vehicle 98 will be identified as 98A.
Teams must be registered in order to take part in the competition. Early registration (reduced fee) deadline is January 30, 2000. Final registration deadline is April 30, 2000.
The vehicle must be safe for the driver, pit crew and competitors. Safety rules will be strictly enforced during inspection and during the running of the event. Non-compliance will result in disqualification. Electrathon vehicles have attained speeds in excess of 60 km/h, and the vehicles are generally light in weight and built such that the driver is not far off the ground.
The vehicle must have a minimum of three road wheels. All road wheels must be in contact with the ground in the course of normal operation, including hard cornering. Electrathon class vehicles traditionally require road wheels be a minimum of 40 cm (approximately 16 inches) outside diameter, including the required inflated (pneumatic) tires, and at least two of the wheels must provide a minimum separation (track) of 60 cm (approximately 24 inches) measured at the centers of the cross-section of the tire. In the EVCO Electrathon Open Class, these rules are relaxed, e.g. the road wheels can be less than 40 cm in diameter. There must still be an appreciable amount of track between the outermost wheels.
The vehicle must be capable of executing a 180-degree turn within a 15 metre-wide corridor (approximately 50 feet) wide, wall to wall, turning both left and right.
All wiring must be visible for inspection for the entire length of the wiring runs. All wiring must be insulated and neatly secured and terminated. Wiring must be sized to have sufficient capacity so that fuses or circuit-breakers will break the circuit before the wiring becomes hot enough to melt its insulation.
No source of power other than the specified lead-acid batteries is permittted for the operation of the vehicle. For example, human-powered assistance such as pedalling and solar panels are not permitted.
There must be an Emergency Power Off ("kill") switch on the vehicle, accessible to the driver while in the vehicle, and to the pit crew outside the vehicle which will completely isolate the batteries from the power train. This can be achieved using a single switch operable from both inside and outside the vehicle or using two independent switches. The switch operating point(s) must be identified by a surrounding red triangle (a side on the bottom, a point at the top) having sides measuring no less than 10 cm (approximately 4 inches). The letters "EPO" must appear below the triangle(s), also in red. The triangles and lettering must stand out visually from the surrounding surface.
The vehicles must include roll-over protection for the driver with sufficient bracing to ensure the integrity of the roll-over protection. The roll-over protection must be securely attached to the chassis. The vehicle must be capable of being lifted from the ground solely by the roll-over protection. There must be a minimum of 5 cm (approximately 2 inches) between the top of the roll-over protection and the top of the driver's helmet.
The vehicle must be inherently stable at rest and in operation without intervention by the driver.
The driver must be able to exit the vehicle unaided in less than 20 seconds. It must be possible to access and remove the driver from the vehicle in less than 20 seconds using a maximum of 4 other people, without assistance from the driver.
There must be brakes on at least two of the wheels. The vehicle must not roll when pushed while the brakes are applied. Regenerative braking and electro-dynamic braking ("plugging") are permitted.
A mirror or mirrors which permit the driver a clear view behind the vehicle to both sides are required.
A seat-belt or safety harness for the driver, secured at a minimum of three points is required. A standard automotive lap and shoulder seat-belt set, properly secured to the vehicle frame and correctly positioned and adjusted, will meet the minimum requirement. The seat-belt or safety harness must be capable of lifting the entire vehicle from the ground.
The vehicle must display the identification number assigned to it by the EEOC on both sides, in a clearly contrasting colour and with digits at least 20 cm (8 inches) high.
Batteries must be of lead-acid composition. A maximum of 29 kg (approximately 64 pounds) of flooded batteries may be carried on-board the vehicle, or 32 kg (approximately 70 pounds) of gel-cell, sealed, valve-regulated or absorbed glass mat. Without excluding other types of sealed lead-acid batteries, the latter weight limit will permit a pair of most 22NF series sealed batteries, or a pair of (Hawker) G42EP batteries.
Batteries must be secured to the vehicle and enclosed during operation, but must be easily removable for weighing during the inspection, and for switching between the competition set of batteries and A set of test batteries.
Batteries may not be recharged during the course of the event, including pit stops. Batteries may not be exchanged between the time the vehicle passes the inspection and the conclusion of the event without the approval of an event official.
The team must be able to produce specification sheets from the manufacturer for their batteries which state the weight, composition and electrical storage capacity of the stock version of the battery or batteries being used at the inspection and upon request from event officials at any other time.
The battery compartment may be vented, passively or actively. Batteries may be insulated.
To reduce the potential for sparks near the batteries, no switches, contactors, fuses, circuit-breakers or other power train devices may be located in the battery compartment.
The driver(s) are required to carry additional weight (ballast) so that the combined weight of the driver and ballast are a minimum of 75 kg (approximately 165 pounds). Ballast must be clearly and unmistakably identified with the driver's identifier (e.g. 98A). It is the responsibility of the driver to supply sufficient and appropriate ballast. Driver weight includes helmet and all clothing and footwear to be worn while operating the vehicle. Driver weight may include radio devices for communication with other team members and a power supply for said radio which is completely independent of the vehicle power system. Any item which is affixed to the vehicle in any manner cannot be counted as ballast.
Drivers are required to have a valid and current driver's licence (a learner's permit is acceptable).
The driver and ballast may be re-weighed at the end of the event at the discretion of event officials. Any driver who does not meet the weight requirement upon re-weighing will cause the disqualification of their team.
The driver must wear a helmet approved for motorcycle, snowmobile or auto-racing use. Bicycle, roller-blading, skate-boarding, wind-surfing and similar helmets are not acceptable.
Prior to the event, the vehicle will be inspected by event officials to determine if it is eligible to compete (see vehicle rules - section 2.3). Inspections will be carried out according to the inspection checklist. A copy of this checklist is included in the appendices. Please note that the inspection checklist may change prior to the inspection at the sole discretion of event officials. Changes to the inspection checklist will be posted on the Official Web Site (http://www.econogics.com/ev/otthon00.htm).
Vehicle and driver inspection will begin at least three hours prior to the scheduled start of the first heat. It is the responsibility of the vehicle team to ensure they allow enough time to have their vehicle inspected and to perform any required repairs or modifications to qualify and pass inspection prior to the start of their heat.
Non-compliant vehicles may be permitted to take part in the event at the sole discretion of the event officials, if the vehicle does not present a safety hazard. Non-compliant vehicles will not be eligible for prizes or placings.
Batteries will be removed from the vehicle and weighed to ensure they meet the rules (see battery rules - Section 2.4).
Drivers, with appropriately identified ballast, will be weighed to ensure they meet the minimum weight requirement. Drivers are responsible for supplying sufficient ballast. Once weighed and accepted, ballast will be "sealed" and initialled by event officials. Breaking of the seals prior to the end of the competition may result in disqualification of the driver or the team.
All drivers and batteries will be weighed using the same scale, which will be provided by event officials.
The inspection includes a minimum of two (2) test laps observed by event officials. A test battery or batteries may be used for these test laps.
The competition is a one-hour timed event. The objective is to travel the maximum possible distance in that hour using only the power stored in the on-board batteries.
Vehicles may be separated into heats for competition if the number of vehicles warrants. Vehicles will not be required to run in more than one heat (e.g. no elimination heats). Placing will be based solely on the number of laps completed (distance travelled) in the specified hour regardless of the heat or class in which the vehicle is running.
Vehicles from more than one class may take part in the same heat at the discretion of event officials.
Positions on the starting grid will be assigned randomly by drawing of numbers. Pole (first) position will be the inside position of the first line. Second position will be beside the first position. Subsequent positions will continue across (inside to outside) and then by consecutive lines from the front of the grid.
Vehicles are expected to keep to the inside (shortest route) except to pass or exit to the pits. Passing must be done on the outside of the vehicle being overtaken. Blocking of an overtaking vehicle when the inside lane is safely available will be penalized. Overtaking on the inside when the outside is safely available will be penalized. Exiting to the pits must be carried out in a safe manner using the pit exit lane commencing no later than the start line.
Unsportsmanlike behaviour, including but not limited to confrontations, arguments and the use of foul language, will not be tolerated, and will result in penalties up to and including disqualification of the team.
Prior to the first heat there will be a drivers' meeting for all registered drivers for all vehicles and event officials. Drivers not attending this meeting will be disqualified. At the drivers' meeting the rules will be explained, questions answered and the drawing of numbers for position in the starting grid will take place.
The status of each heat will be communicated by use of race flags. The flags have the following meanings.
GREEN flag = Heat is underway and proceeding normally.
YELLOW flag = Caution. Do NOT Pass any other vehicle.
RED flag = Danger. All vehicles must proceed with caution and stop at the Start/Finish line.
BLACK flag = Flagged vehicle must stop in the pits.
WHITE flag = Last minute of heat.
CHECKERED flag = Heat is over. Stop as quickly as safely possible, and remain at that location until instructed to leave the track by an event official.
Placing will be based upon the number of complete and partial laps as of the end of the hour. Two vehicles with the same number of completed laps will be placed based on their relative positions on the track at the time the heat ends.
Protests must be presented to the Track Steward within ten minutes of the completion of the heat. To be considered by the EEOC, each protest must be presented using the designated form and be accompanied by a $50 (Canadian) deposit. The deposit will be refunded if the appeal is upheld. The deposit is forfeited if the appeal is denied. Half the deposit will be refunded if the appeal is withdrawn before a decision is announced.
Protests may pertain to violations of design or event rules by a competitor, where this violation produced an advantage to the alleged violator.
The EEOC may use any and all evidence it deems relevant to assist it in reaching a decision on an appeal. Decisions of the EEOC are final; there is no further appeal process.
Prizes will be awarded to the teams placing first, second and third in the DOC. Additional prizes may also be established, and if so, will be announced to the teams prior to the competition.
Prizes will consist of a trophy or a certificate provided by EVCO. Cash and merchandise prizes may also be available depending on the nature, number and generosity of sponsors. Any such additional prizes will be announced prior to the event.
Teams are responsible for covering all their own costs related to their vehicle, including but not limited to: design, construction, components and parts acquisition, testing, and transport of their vehicles. EVCO may provide some form of subsidy to registered teams, but does not commit to doing so. Any such subsidy will be dependent on the generosity of additional sponsors (e.g. provision of specified parts at a discount).
Teams are encouraged to find sponsors to help them cover the costs of constructing their vehicles and travel to and from the Electrathon event.
Some local businesses may prefer to donate materials (e.g. for the body shell and frame, battery compartment(s), bicycle parts, wiring, tie-wraps, paint) or services (welding, painting, machining of custom parts) or provide these materials or services at a discount rather than contribute cash. Be creative in looking for sponsors, and don't be shy. For example, the local gas station may not be the most obvious sponsor for an electric vehicle, but they might donate a couple of fill-ups to help with transportation costs to the actual event. Stations selling ethanol-blend fuels may be sympathetic to clean-air vehicles. Make sure you have your act together before you go knocking on doors. Have handouts ready stating the purpose of your project, what you hope to achieve and why you are doing this. Know what you want to say and say it - don't make a potential sponsor feel like you are wasting her or his time. Be prepared to answer questions. Have a suggestion ready as to what the sponsor could contribute to your project, preferably something that is a logical connection to their business, but don't push.
Before you start soliciting sponsors, determine if your organization can issue tax receipts for donations of cash, materials or services. This will make sponsorship more attractive to individuals if you are trying to get personal donations to support your project. Most businesses can claim the donated money, parts or services as a publicity expense, provided you give them space on the vehicle. In these cases, you should provide a photo of the vehicle showing the sponsor's advertising on the vehicle as proof of promotional effort associated with their donation.
Provide a letter to all sponsors thanking them for their donation as soon as possible after receipt of their donation. Send all sponsors an additional letter after the event telling them how your team fared, and how the students felt about the experience. A photo of the vehicle and team should be included with this letter. Both letters should be individualized, including the sponsor's full name and address, the donation they made to the project, and if possible, how that contributed to the project's success. (If your vehicle moved under its own power on the track, and the team learned from the experience, your project was a success.)
Keep records of all potential sponsors your team has approached, the response, and any donation received.
As more information regarding this event becomes available, it will be posted on the 2000 EVCO Electrathon Web site and transmitted to the registered teams.
Questions regarding the rules or the event may be submitted:
by e-mail to email@example.com;
by facsimile to (613) 828-3199; or
by telephone to Darryl McMahon at (613) 828-0805.
The URL address for the official World Wide Web site of the 2000 EVCO Electrathon is:
Registered competitors may choose to receive their updates by any one of the following means:
* electronic (Internet) mail;
* facsimile transmission (fax); or,
* regular mail (Canada Post).
Registered competitors may indicate their preference for receiving updates:
* on the registration form, or
* by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, or
* by facsimile transmission to (613)828-3199, or
* in writing to EVCO EEOC, P.O.Box 4044, Station "E", Ottawa, Ontario, K1S 5B1.
There are several other sources of information related to the construction and racing of Electrathon-type vehicles that you may wish to consult. These include:
1. The VEVA Design and Event Rules, available from:
720-999 West Broadway,
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, V5Z 1K5
2. The Electrathon America Formula Electrathon Design and Event Rules Reference Guide, available from:
1251 W. Sepulvida Blvd., Suite 142
Torrance, CA, 90502, U.S.A.
These documents are sold for a fee. Please contact the providers for current prices.
Recommendations are not rules. Vehicles will not be disqualified for not observing recommendations. Recommendations are advice from the EEOC to the participants.
1. Wear proper protective clothing and equipment while constructing the vehicle and handling the various parts and components. Safety First.
2. Do research. Knowledge will help you to improve the performance of your vehicle.
3. "Sealed" batteries are recommended over flooded batteries. "Sealed" lead-acid batteries (including gelled electrolyte, valve-regulated, etc) have reduced potential for gassing, misting and external presentation of dilute acid. While the dilute sulphuric acid present in flooded lead-acid batteries presents a minimal hazard to people wearing proper eye protection, it will readily damage many types of clothing.
4. A second set of batteries (possibly used automotive batteries) may be useful for testing purposes during vehicle design and construction, and for demonstration and preparation activities prior to the heat on event day, and the test laps required as part of the vehicle inspection.
5. The ZAP drive train components available from ZEVCO provide a simple and reliable drive system, controls and charger in one package at a reasonable cost. Teams are NOT required to use these components, they are provided by ZEVCO at their cost price as a convenience to teams that wish to use them. ZEVCO can be reached at (613) 824-1702.
6. The driver should wear close-fitting clothing which covers the entire body. Ballast should be in the form of sealable bags of sand or lead shot or similar non-liquid material which can be adjusted to within a few grams (or ounces) at weigh-in time. The official weigh-in scale may not agree completely with the one you used.
7. Additional instruction on the proper use of the EPO switch(es) should be applied to the vehicle adjacent to the identifying red triangles.
8. Test your vehicle under some challenging conditions prior to the event to ensure it is capable of surviving the stresses encountered in racing, especially cornering.
9. Make your vehicle small enough to fit in a standard van or pickup truck to make transportation easier.
10. Consider attending an unclaimed bicycle auction, such as those held by police departments, as a source of low-cost parts.
11. The use of instrumentation including an ammeter, a voltmeter, a watt-hour meter (if available), a speedometer and odometer are useful in establishing relative performance during test runs while trying to refine different aspects of your vehicle, as well as helping you to pace your vehicle during the Electrathon event.
12. Cover moving parts of the drive-train (e.g. chains, sprockets, belts, pulleys) to prevent accidental contact with moving parts during operation.
The energy storage capacity of lead-acid batteries tends to vary with temperature and the number of charge/discharge cycles the battery has delivered. Consult the specifications for your specific batteries to determine how best to prepare it for optimum performance.
Appropriately sized and rated circuit-breakers that can be operated manually may be used as EPO switches.
Open Class Team Registration and Liability Waiver
Open Class Team Member Registration and Waiver
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