In the race of experimental electric cars at the 15th annual High Plains ElectroRally, held at Frontier Park in Hays on Sept. 25, Hays High School won the Standard Class, Wheatland High School won the Solar Class, and Olathe Northwest won the team spirit award.
The ElectroRally is a “one-hour endurance race for electric cars” designed and constructed by high school students, said Joe Chretien, associate professor of applied technology at Fort Hays State University. The electric car that completes the most laps within the hour wins the race.
Cars average about 20 to 40 miles per hour, have an electric motor, up to 74 pounds of battery and at least 180 pounds of cargo, said Chretien.
Plaques are awarded to the top two finishers of the Standard Class cars, which meet the criteria for standard Electrathon America cars, and to the top two finishers of the Solar Class cars, which are similar to the standard cars but are powered by solar arrays. The team spirit plaque is awarded to the team that demonstrates collaborated effort.
Standard Class: Hays High School, 70 laps; Great Bend High School, 68 laps; Hays High School, 67 laps; Hays High School, 59 laps; Stockton High School, 58 laps; Wheatland High School, 54 laps; Olathe Northwest High School 34 laps; Hodgeman County, 14 laps; Hodgeman County, 14 laps
Solar Class: Wheatland High School, 61 laps; Scott City High School, 58 laps
Team Spirit Award: Olathe Northwest High School
“The course was in very good condition, even though we had some flooding rains earlier in the week,” said Chretien. “The City of Hays Parks Department did a fine job of maintaining and preparing it. The weather was sunny and cool to start out with, but ended up getting pretty warm and muggy. There was little wind which made for a great day for racing.”
The High Plains ElectroRally serves as a practice race for students to test their cars and get a feel for the racing environment before the Kansas ElectroRally Championship Series in the spring.
Schools register at no cost. The Institute of Applied Technology at Fort Hays State University, NCK-Tech, Midwest Energy, Sunflower Electric Power Corp. and Western Electric Co-op sponsored the event.