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Ozark competes in electric vehicle rally

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ozark_ev_rallyStudents enrolled in Arkansas Tech University-Ozark Campus’ automotive service technology program competed Friday, May 4, in the Arkansas Electric Vehicle (EV) Rally, taking home the top prize in one competition and third place in another.

Held at Pulaski Technical College-South Campus in Little Rock and sponsored by the Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas, the EV Rally is a challenging mix of competitions designed to test the teams’ and their vehicles’ abilities.

The EV program is an ongoing STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) initiative formed through a partnership between industry and educational institutes.

The Arkansas Tech-Ozark team, which is sponsored by Arkansas Valley Electrical Cooperative (AVEC) in Ozark, includes Ali Rashidi of Lavaca, Jacob Greigo of Ozark, Matthew Bolton of Alma, Robert Rodriguez of Van Buren.

Arkansas Tech-Ozark won first place in the troubleshooting category and third place in autocross. The team is coached by Brian Bass, an instructor in the campus’ automotive service technology program, and Bobby Sewell, the program chair.

Arkansas Tech-Ozark Chief Academic Officer Bruce Sikes said, “This gives us an opportunity not only to learn more about green technology, but also an opportunity to exhibit our skill level through competition.

“We consider this an opportunity to support green initiatives that are being utilized in the automotive industry, but at a smaller scale.

Tony Wilson with Community Relations and Key Accounts for AVEC, said, “Arkansas Valley Electric sponsors events such as the Electric Vehicle Rally to educate students and to demonstrate the various aspects of electricity and energy efficiency.”

Sikes said, “Arkansas Valley Electric is an outstanding educational partner. The EV Rally is one example of their many commitments to strengthening educational and industry partnerships, both financially and organizationally.”

Photo: Matthew Bolton of Alma, from left, Jacob Greigo of Ozark (seated), Ali Rashidi of Lavaca and Robert Rodriguez of Van Buren.