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Electric Vehicle Rally

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Interest in electric vehicles continues to grow in the United States and in Arkansas, and this interest led to a record number of entrants in the Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas Electric Vehicle Rally held May 6 at Pulaski Tech – South Campus in Little Rock. 

Arkansas Tech University – Ozark Campus’s Auto Service program, in their first-ever competition, took first place in the Auto Cross division in an electric vehicle donated by Arkansas Valley Electric Cooperative in Ozark. The Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas sponsored the competition in hopes of sparking interest in Green Technology. 

Evidence that high school students from across the state are paving the future for electric cars was in the number of participants, with more than 170 students from 12 schools competing in the rally. 

Students participated in an exciting and challenging mix of competitions designed to test the teams’ and their vehicles’ abilities. The day’s events began with technical inspections and safety inspections of the student vehicles. Then, oral presentations by the students and troubleshooting competitions test. Next, academics were left behind as the participants moved to the track and strapped on helmets for an acceleration event. Following the autocross competition with many twists and turns, teams participated in a quiz bowl to test the knowledge of science and electric vehicles. The teams then returned to the track to test how far the vehicles could go on a single charge. 

Among the schools participating in this year’s rally were: Arkansas Tech – Ozark; Cabot High School; Central Junior High School (Springdale); Corning High School; George Junior High School (Springdale); Hillcrest High School; Lamar High School;, Mabelvale Middle School; Mid-South Community College, Paragould High School; Southwest Junior High School (Springdale); and Springdale High School.  

Pictured are: Driver, Heath Lind. Back row: (L-R) Brian Bass, Automotive Service Technology Instructor, Alex Parga, Travis Pruitt, Daniel McBryde, and Robert Fox, Automotive Service Technology Instructor.