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Science and the Environment

OTC Students Build Electric Car

Photo Credit: OTC

Students from Ozarks Technical Community College have been given a unique learning experience with new technology. The product of their labor will be unveiled later this week. KSMU’s Melanie Foehrweiser has details.

As electric cars become more popular, it only makes sense that students wanting to work in the automotive field should learn how to work on them. OTC took that electric education one step further. Joel Doepker is OTC’s director of communication and marketing.

“For the last few years, our automotive students and instructors have looked at this 1993 Toyota Celica, and they didn’t know what to do with it. So they figured with the advent or the interest in electric cars, that our program could look into converting this ‘93 Celica into an electric car,” he says.

And that’s exactly what they did. Students from the automotive, welding, machine tooling, and industrial maintenance programs all joined hands in the conversion, which took two years. Doepker estimates that more than 100 students experienced the conversion in one way or another. The car now runs on ten 12-volt batteries.  

Doepker says that the conversion process has benefitted both the instructors and the students. He says students will be able to use this knowledge to give them an edge in the workforce.

“The trend seems to be going that there’s a potential for more electric cars on the road. And at the very least, coming from OTC if they’re in the automotive field they would’ve experienced that in some way shape or form. So absolutely it gives them more experience, and more education on some upcoming modern technology.”

The car will be unveiled at OTC’s Community Day Saturday, April 28th. The event will also include a car and motorcycle show, health screenings, demonstrations, and hands-on projects. The event runs from 9 am to 2 pm and will be held at OTC’s Springfield Campus located on East Chestnut Expressway.

For KSMU News, I’m Melanie Foehrweiser.