EVolocity Event A Hit With Electric Vehicle Enthusiasts
New Zealand’s first ever day of electric motorsport took place this past Sunday at Mike Pero Motorsport Park, Ruapuna Christchurch. EVolocity, sponsored by Orion, featured standing sprints (drags) and lap sprints for electric go karts, motor bikes and cars. It also pitted electric vehicles versus combustion vehicles. It even featured a two lap race for modified electric bikes. And, fifteen high school teams competed in a number of challenges, using vehicles they had built during the year.
Rob McEwen, organiser of EVolocity, says that the event has got the electric vehicle community buzzing, and that it has also had an impact on die hard petrol heads. “I got a call following the event from a Christchurch Ferrari club member who said they were not only blown away with the performance of the Tesla S against the Ferrari, but that they’d taken an opportunity to drive a Nissan Leaf at the event and couldn’t believe its acceleration off the mark,” says McEwen.
EVolocity had three primary goals:
• Stimulate innovation in the electric vehicle sector in NZ
• Demonstrate the performance capabilities of electric vehicles
• Encourage young people to pursue studies in science, technology and engineering
McEwen says that a number of those who competed on Sunday are already talking about innovations to improve their performance next year. And, in the case of one of the high school teams, they’re talking about building a real electric drag car next year, sourcing mentorship from John Wayland, owner of White Zombie, the fastest electric drag car in the world. “That’s exactly the sort of outcome we were looking for,” says McEwen.
High school team winners were as follows:
• Drag race, highest speed: Lincoln High School
• Street circuit, shortest time: Lincoln High School
• Best home built motor controller: Papanui High School
• Courier run, shortest time: Christchurch Boys High
• Economy run, fastest time: Lincoln High School
• Overall performance winner (combined courier rank, economy rank and lowest voltage drop): Geraldine High School
• Best design & show: Geraldine High School
• Best social marketing: Geraldine High School
• Best video: Burnside High SchoolIn the open electric vehicle category, winners were as follows:
• Best performance, go kart, lap sprints: Brendan White
• Best design & show, go kart: Powell Fenwick Consultants
• Best design & show, motor bike: Rob Warrender, Astara
• Best design & show, car: Simon Wilkinson, electric Ford Falcon ute
• Best standing sprint, motor bike: Craig Jerrett, Astara
• Best lap sprint, motor bike: Craig Jerrett, Astara
• Best standing sprint, car: Steve West in a Tesla S
• Best lap sprint, car: Steve West in a Tesla Roadster
EVolocity also pitted some high performance combustion cars versus electric cars. The outright winner in the electric versus combustion drags was an Audi R8 clocking 12.4 seconds, with a Tesla S clocking the best electric time of 12.56 seconds.
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.
Drive Electric, formerly known as APEV, is a non-profit incorporated society advancing electric vehicle uptake and innovation in New Zealand.