Queen's University Great Electric Car Race

Last updated 1997.06.14

The Great Electric Car Race is sponsored by the Faculty of Education at Queen's University in Kingston Ontario. Initially, vehicles were powered by automotive starter motors and a single automotive starting, lighting and ignition (SLI) battery. This was intended to keep costs to a minimum without limiting creativity. After the initial event in 1996, several teams decided to enhance their vehicles with motors boasting better continuous-duty performance and efficiency. There were 24 vehicles on the starting line for the 1997 event, 22 registered competitors and two demonstration vehicles, including the EVCO Electrathon demonstration car.

Link has bit-rotted: http://edu-ss10.educ.queensu.ca/~perkinsb/car_race.html] The 1996 Great Electric Car Race | 1997 Rules | Media Coverage

Second Annual Great Electric Car Contest Rules

Last updated: 1997.03.03
The following is the text taken from the rules poster for the Second Annual Great Electric Car Contest hosted by Technological Education, Faculty of Education at Queen's University (Kingston, Ontario).

Who is Eligible for Competition?

The competition is open to any students enrolled in BBT programs in Ontario.

Where and When is the Competition Held?

The competition will be held on May 24, 1997 at the Faculty of Education, Duncan McArthur Hall, Queen's University. Facilities in the Technological Education department will be reserved for this event. The performance testing of the vehicles will occur on roadways located on Queen's University property just north of the Education complex.

The Aim of the Competition.

The aim of the competition is to support the implementation of BBT in schools. In particular, to promote integrated learning using the Design Process while producing outcomes related to scientific principles, mathematical concepts, technological systems and societal needs.

It is hoped this challenge will be both educational and motivational for students. It should engage young people in the investigation of transportation systems, as well as the designing, producing , testing, and evaluation stages of the design process. An awareness of the impacts of technology on the environment and transportation alternatives for the future should also be investigated.

Criteria for the Construction of the Vehicle and Rules for the Competition.

The following criteria has been established to provide general guidelines and directions for particpants. These include:
* All materials and costs are the responsibility of the team or their sponsors. Teams consist of 2 to 6 students per vehicle.
* Schools may enter more than one vehicle providing a different team is assigned to each vehicle. No restrictions apply to size, weight or materials used on the vehicle providing safety, environment, etc. are not compromised.
* Vehicles to be powered by ONE standard 12 volt DC lead acid battery designed for automotive use. CCA rating must be identified on the manufacturer's label and must not exceed 700 Cold Cranking Amps.
* The battery will power a 12 volt DC automotive type starter motor which will be used as the main driving member. The starter motor may be modified to enhance power, lubrication, cooling, etc. Vehicles must have at least 3 wheels in contact with the ground at all times. All vehicles must have functioning and capable brake and steering systems. All vehicles must pass a safety inspection by race officials prior to competition.
* Vehicles do not need to have a body assembly. However, bodies are recommended for improved aerodynamic efficiency. All drivers must wear an approved motorcycle-type helmet, and drive in a safe and responsible fashion. As this is a race of endurance, top drivers will best demonstrate their abilities by employing a conservative driving strategy that will maximize the energy and efficiency of their vehicles.


* Although the race part of the competition will continue to be judged based on the distance travelled on a single battery charge, there will be a maximum time limit of 2 hours once the race begins.
* Vehicles may enter the competition powered by motors other than starter motors. They will however, be grouped and raced in a separate "open" category.
* Batteries must be secured to the vehicle and isolated by a physical barrier to prevent acid spillage on the driver. Battery compartments must be ventilated.
* Vehicles must have a main power "kill switch" accessible to the driver.
* Supplementary solar panels are permitted. Panel size however, must not exceed 1 square metre. Regenerative braking systems are permitted in addition to conventional brakes. All vehicles must be equipped with seat belts. All vehicles must have roll over protection.

Criteria for Technical Report and Presentation.

* Teams must submit a report along with their entry, and be prepared to give a 2-3 minute presentation describing their prototype vehicle and its performance capabilities.
* Technical reports must show evidence of research, implementation of the design process through the inclusion of sketches, models of the prototype and alternate designs, construction photos, engineering drawings, performance specifications, evaluation of design, etc.

Judging of the Competition:

A team of impartial judges will be provided. Awards will be presented to a number of participants. The decision of the judges will be final.

Scoring System:

ENDURANCE: Distance travelled on a single charge - 30%
EFFICIENCY OF CONTROL: Turning and braking - 15%

Registration Fee:

Every attempt will be made to keep this fee as low as possible. Additional information will be forwarded to you upon request. For further information please do not hesitate to contact:
Brian Perkins
Technological Education
Faculty of Education
Queen's University
Kingston, Ontario
K7L 3N6
Tel: (613)545-6262
E-mail: perkinsb@educ.queensu.ca

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Media Coverage

From the Orleans Weekly Journal - Michael Curran

Electric car team coasts to fourth

It might have been the school's first appearance at Queen's Univerity's Great Electric Car Contest, but a team from St. Peter High School in Fallingbrook almost drove away with the big prize on May 24.
Named Team Rusty for the scrap metal and old parts used to build the school's entry, a team of four students was given the task of designing and building an electric car powered by a 12-volt car battery. The St. Peter team settled on a three-wheel vehicle, complete with a starter motor, steering system, brakes, windshield and a roll bar.
The contest at Queen's University involved navigating the electric car around a challenging 1.3 kilometre course for two hours. The object of the endurance competition was to drive the car around the course as many times as possible on a single charge of the 12-volt battery. The electric cars wre also judged on their efficiency of control, technical design, quality of workmanship and aesthetics and finally an oral presentation to the judges.
When all was said and done, the St. Peter team captured fourth place in a field of 22 competitors from across the province.
"It was great fun," said Grade 12 student Adam Cowling, who drove the electric car for St. Peter High School. "I was quite nervous about the design the night before the contest, but everything worked out."
Cowling said adjustments to the electric car were made right up to race time. Unlike some entries that failed to climb a steep hill of navigate hair-pin corners, the St. Peter creation endured for the entire two-hour competition with only a few problems. The car was entirely designed by the student team under the supervision of transportation teacher Pius Gratwohl and Michael Scott, the head of St. Peter's design and technology department.
Scott says the electric car contest is an excellent opportunity for schools to implement new broad-based technology teaching methods that enable students to integrate their studies in science, mathematics and technology into a working creation.
"The team used a hands-on, experimental approach that draws on knowledge acquired in several academic courses," said Scott.

The black and white photo which accompanied the article carried this caption:
ON THE ROAD: St. Peter transportation teacher Pius Gratwohl, students Justin Bernard, Jason Olsheskie, Adam Cowling (seated in car) and Amy Jobst and head of the school's design and technology department Michael Scott captured fourth place in Queen's University's Great Electric Car Contest on May 24. (Unfortunately, the photo from the paper did not scan well enough to justify reproducing it here).

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