Auckland Schools learn to build and race an Electric Vehicle

23rd May 2017 | Nicky Davis

On Saturday 20th May at Unitec, Mt Albert 37 teams of Auckland high school students participated in the first build event to build their own electric vehicle, thanks to a new programme called EVolocity which has recently been launched in 20 schools throughout Auckland.

Rob McEwen, Executive Director of EVolocity, says the programme has a couple of key objectives. “It’s partly about opening young people’s eyes to the possibilities of engineering careers. But it’s also about turning the next generation of drivers onto electric vehicles so that when they’re ready to buy their first car, they already understand how electric vehicles work and what their performance and environmental benefits are.”

The programme includes tutoring assistance as well as regional and national competitions.

EVolocity is supported in the Auckland region by tertiary sponsors The University of Auckland’s Faculty of Engineering, MIT and Unitec, as well as by Air New Zealand’s Aviation Institute, BMW and ETCO. Kevin Sowerby, Head of Electrical & Computer Engineering at the University of Auckland, says, “The EVolocity programme is an excellent mechanism for engaging high school students in engineering (and STEM subjects in general). Just like professional engineers, EVolocity participants will enjoy meeting exciting technical challenges through teamwork and creativity while exercising their growing knowledge and skill.”

The day provided a great opportunity for teachers and teams to meet each other, and learn more about the EVolocity program and electric vehicles in general, with an overall focus on inspiration and the design elements of this project.


Highlights included:

  • Demonstrations on some highly innovative electric vehicle projects at Unitec…and the opportunity to go for a ride!
  • A presentation and opportunity to drive in the latest BMW i3 electric car


The next build camp is scheduled for a months’ time, and will include electronic controller sessions, innovation category options, and an opportunity to undertake to hands on build work on your school vehicle!

EVolocity is working with the Kaipatiki Project Environment Centre to facilitate the regional programme. This means participants will learn about the sustainability advantages of electric transportation while also being exposed to broader aspects of sustainability.

For more information on the programme please visit



For more information contact:

Nicky Davis

Marketing Manager: Kaipatiki Project

09 482 1172 or 0225564259

[email protected]



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