High School Students Make Electric Car

Friday, July 13th 2007, 5:00 pm
By: News On 6

AAA is reporting gas prices rose three cents Thursday night to nearly $3.17 a gallon. Don't you wish someone would do something about them? The News On 6’s Rick Wells reports the students in the McLain High School Aerospace Applied Science program have been working on it.

"Our students are right in the middle of this technology, that's where I wanted to put them,” said aerospace teacher Jim Smith. “I wanted to find something that had relevance to them and something that would enrich their lives."

Smith says they're constantly looking for ideas that will take the students into the future, and a Honda Civic could be it. Last year a team of students, led by Dondale Frazier, converted an old Honda to a solar powered electric car.

"Very minimal energy input into changing it over," Smith said.

And not terribly expensive, the car was donated and the conversion parts cost less than $7,000. The program has two electric cars, the Civic they converted, and the ZENN electric car, which is on loan. The ZENN, which stands for Zero Emissions No Noise, distributor saw the Civic and loaned McLain one of his cars. Now the McLain students will create a carport charging station for the ZENN, powered by solar energy.

The ZENN electric car currently can be plugged into any common electrical outlet for recharging. The student project will make the car totally independent of any outside fuel source except sunlight.

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