Congratulations to Hillmorton High School’s first ever EVolocity team! They not only designed and built their own electric vehicle to compete in the Canterbury regional event, but managed to receive 3 First Placings, and earn a spot in the Nationals.

It has been a year in the making – Allan Taylor, Andre Scheepers, Jerry Tan and William Begg have been working after school and some weekends on what has become for them a bit of a passion project.  Inspired to enter and then mentored through the process by teachers Chris Freear and Scott Nixon, the boys have had to learn an array of engineering, welding, programming and driving skills. This enabled them to build and manoeuver the electrically powered bike through the EVolocity challenges. 

Nerves were fraying, when even the night before the event, chains were slipping and bugs were still being ironed out. However, on the day William Begg managed to hold his nerves in check to finish 2nd in their class for the Drag Race event.  Andre Scheepers followed up with a 4th place in the Street Circuit Race. 

Intelligence and strategy needed to be at the forefront for the team as they placed 2nd in the Gymkhana.  Here the team needed to plan a route to collect a series of baton’s as efficiently as possible. 

The highlight for the team had to be the three first placings earned that afternoon.  Andre managed to drive the Economy race where he needed to travel the furthest within the 60 minute time limit, or 50W of energy usage.  The bike used up all it’s allotted energy in the 56th minute. The team monitored progress through their tracking app in the pit feeding Andre advice and direction through their comms device.  The team’s custom made phone app and data telemetry then earned them two out of three first place wins for the Innovation awards.

Leading into the regionals, the team were just excited to have a working vehicle and had some hopes that they might perform well in the Innovation judging.  They surpassed all their own expectations and now are working hard to get themselves and their bike up to Hamilton on 24 November for the Nationals.

The team are grateful for the support of local engineering firm Autobend, who sponsored the team by bending and supplying the central frame tube, and to Safe-R-Brakes who have contributed generously towards getting the team to the start line in Hamilton.  

We wish you all the best for Nationals!

By Liz Williams

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