West Philadelphia High School, better known as Team EVX, was eliminated from the competition during the Knockout Phase, but the team has continued their work with efficient vehicles and developing the next generation of technology savvy young adults.
Early in 2011, Edison2, Mainstream Class winner, created a chassis of the Very Light Car for Team EVX to build as an all-electric car, the Electric Very Light Car (EVLC). The team has decided on a drivetrain utilizing Azure Dynamics electric motor and International Battery Lithium Iron Phosphate battery pack. Subsequently, five students on the EVX Team entered the Clean Energy division of the Conrad Foundation’s Spirit of Innovation Awards (SOIA) that challenges high school students to use science, technology and entrepreneurship to solve real-world 21st century problems. The students detailed their work on the EVLC for the contest and partnered with University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business to create a business and marketing plan. In May, the students won the SOIA and will be working on additional components of the business plan this summer.
On April 15, after tweaking and tuning the EVX GT, the team’s internal combustion engine powered competition vehicle, the team took a large group of students and teachers to the Green Grand Prix at Watkins Glen International, which featured a short and long road rally. The Chevy Volt won the short road rally and the EVX GT won the long road rally and logged the best MPGe of any car in the competition.
Perhaps most importantly, Simon Hauger, Team EVX leader, mentor, and program developer, has been working to advance the work of the EVX Team from after-school to an official high school program. The program, the Sustainability Workshop, will be housed at the Philadelphia Navy Yard in conjunction with the Greater Philadelphia Innovation Cluster (GPIC), a $129 million initiative of the Department of Energy. The team is partnering with the GPIC, the Philadelphia School District and Drexel University for this effort and started classes early this month.
“For all that the X PRIZE did to foster the advancement of the automotive industry, the greater achievement will be a fundamental rethinking about how we educate today’s young people for tomorrow’s green economy,” states Ann Cohen, Team EVX advisor and mentor.
West Philly EVX will also be honored by Popular Mechanics for their achievements at a ceremony in New York on October 10, 2011. What an inspiring group of young adults!