NC High School Students Excel in EV Challenge

The Electric Vehicle (EV) Challenge is an education program for high school students to learn about engineering through real world experience. As part of the program, students participate in a year-long educational program and build full-size plug-in electric vehicles that they then compete with. The program is currently serving high schools in North Carolina, Virginia, Florida, West Virginia and Iowa and would like to grow to include a national reach.

Here in North Carolina, there are 14 high schools currently participating in the program: West Wilkes, Topsail, Dudley, Northampton, Hertford County, Roanoke, Morehead, McMichael, Hertford, New Hanover, Laney, Ashley, Chapel Hill – Carboro, and Rockingham. Students at these schools are learning numerous skills as they convert cars into electric vehicles. A few examples of the cars being converted are West Wilkes’ Mazda Miata and Chevy S10, Topsail’s Mr2 and Ford Ranger, Dudley’s Mazda truck, Roanoke’s Mazda RX-7, Morehead’s Saturn and Chevy S10, and McMichael’s Ford Mustang.

The yearly final event brings students and the converted cars together to compete on multiple levels. The car design is inspected with a presentation given by students and a section on trouble shooting. The vehicles then compete in acceleration, range and autocross events. Currently, Topsail High School is on a winning streak, with 11 overall wins.

The program is often a life-changer for students and has a significant positive impact on their experience of science and engineering. The EV Challenge is currently looking for supporters and additional members, if you’re interested in learning more, visit

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