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Canterbury High Schools Compete in Electric Vehicle Race

Media Release

26 September 2014

Canterbury High Schools Gear Up to Compete in Electric Vehicle Race

Sixteen schools from around Canterbury have spent months gearing up to demonstrate their electric vehicle abilities at EVolocity on Sunday 30 November at Ruapuna Speedway in Christchurch. Designing and building their own vehicles from scratch, the students have been attending regular design boot camps, plus working over weekends to get an edge on the competition.

The largest electric motor sport event to hit the country, EVolocity is a fast-paced, innovative and exciting motorsport event with an environmental twist – demonstrating electric vehicle performance and efficiency.

Papanui High School has two teams and ten students participating in the competition and Dave Ruddle, the Papanui High teacher involved in managing the teams, says the challenge of designing and building the vehicles has been a huge incentive for students.

“Our students had no prior experience in this area but they were keen to build something different. After white boarding ideas they came up with a triangular vehicle shape and then set about making it work from a practical perspective. It’s been an evolutionary process and the goal has been development of a manoeuvrable and safe vehicle that will do the distance. We were lucky to get sponsorship from Orion and Ecoshop to help make the vehicles a reality,” said Ruddle.

Michael Hann, one of the students involved in the development says the team is hoping for a win in the speed controller category of the high schools event.

“There have been a number of challenges to get this far with one of the biggest being how to coordinate the steering of a three wheeled vehicle. We’ve got that sorted now so it’s looking good,” said Hann.

CPIT, in association with Electroflash and Enviroschools, have been running the series of boot camps over the past few months to assist students with their design and build and their expertise has been invaluable according to Rob McEwen, Executive Director of Association Promotion of Electric Vehicles (APEV).

“This project encourages students to take up what we call STEM studies (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) and so we see it as being a hugely important component of developing a future generation of technologically savvy people,” said McEwen.

Progress of the high school competitors can be found on,

Tickets for EVolocity are on sale now and can be purchased via the EVolocity website


Notes for Editor

ABOUT EVolocity

Fast-paced, innovative and exciting, Evolocty is a motorsport event with an environmental twist – demonstrating electric vehicle performance and efficiency. An initiative of the Association for the Promotion of Electric Vehicles (APEV), EVolocity aims to promote the use of electric vehicles while also encouraging New Zealanders to innovate, invent and become involved in the future of transport.

This year’s event highlights include:

• A race between the world’s fastest electric drag motor bike and the fastest drag motor bike in the South Island. (The electric drag bike goes from 0-100km/h in 1 second)

• An action packed event featuring sixteen Canterbury high school teams who have developed their own custom design and built electric vehicles

• A showcase of three world record holding electric vehicles from the US, plus New Zealand’s first Tesla S (The highest performance electric vehicle commercially available and Motor Trend car of the year, 2013).

• A race between the epitome of motorsport a Ferrari and the high performance Tesla Roadster.

• Race legend – Eva Håkansson who holds the title of fastest electric motorcycle in the world (434 km/h), fastest sidecar motorcycle in the world and fastest woman on a motorcycle in the world.

• Kevin Clemens who set 11 world, US National and US East Coast land speed records with electric motorcycles built in his Minnesota workshop.

• A Dragon’s Den where inventors and innovators will go head to head for potential investor backing

• An Award Ceremony celebrating the stand out performances and innovations from the day


The Association for the Promotion of Electric Vehicles (APEV) mission is to create financial, environmental, health and energy security benefits for all New Zealanders. APEV is owner of the EVolocity concept.


Orion owns and operates the electricity distribution network that provides power to most of the Canterbury region. As one of the largest electricity distribution networks in New Zealand, Orion covers remote rural areas, regional towns and the city of Christchurch.

The Orion network extends over 8,000 square kilometres across central Canterbury from the Waimakariri River in the North to the Rakaia River in the South and from the Canterbury Coast to Arthurs Pass. Orion transports electricity to more than 190,000 homes and businesses.

Orion is the principal sponsor of EVolocity and sees its sponsorship as an opportunity to show a strong commitment to the Canterbury community and to environmental and sustainability issues.


CPIT, Enviroschools and Electroflash contribute time and work in partnership to run the EVolocity Boot camps for the participating high school teams

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