NORWICH – For the past two years, students in DCMO BOCES’ Automotive Technology program have been collaborating with their program and academic instructors, as well as with industry resources on an electric vehicle project. The venture had its birth in the summer of 2008 when auto technology instructor Pete Benson encountered the Cornell University X-Prize mule car at the state fair. When school started that fall, a team of students rallied around the idea of developing their own hybrid vehicle project. With hybrid and electric vehicle technology being pursued by a growing number of automotive companies, the project offered great student exposure to emerging technology.
The student team began their exploration doing research into the history, current state, and future of the electric and hybrid vehicle industry. There was a sharp learning curve getting familiarized with technology components and concepts relating to choice and integration of electric motors, batteries, and control systems. To aid in this quest for knowledge and give the students an Ivy League experience, several students joined instructors for a visit to Cornell University to meet with the X-Prize team, see their hybrid mule car, and glean from their engineering experience.