| Making an electric car is a
mechanical engineering challenge often used as a competition for
students from 5th grade to 8th grade.
Some students may prefer to buy all the parts separately and cut all the woods themselves and design their own car; however, most students and teachers prefer to get all the parts in a kit and make changes as they need.
With this project students can explore:
Electric Car Kits usually come with parts, cut to size and ready to use. The picture bellow shows the materials you usually find in an Electric Car Kit from MiniScience. Kit includes at least 4 wooden parts and one plastic board, cut to size in addition to the 4 pulley wheels, 4 tire rings, battery holder, one transmission pulley, electric motor, rubber bands, motor mount, screws, brass paper clips and eyelets.
During construction of the electric vehicle, students can experiment and comprehend methods of power transfer, using glue, measurement, making a simple electric circuit . It is up to the teacher to make sure this background information is provided to students in some manner.
Before invention of gas engines, cars were pulled by horses or other animals. Now gas burning engines are the most popular drive in cars. There are concerns about the air pollutions caused by gas engines and electric cars are entering the market in a fast pace. Electric cars rely the electrical energy stored in batteries, so they will not cause any air pollution.
Because of the limited amount of electricity stored in batteries, electric cars must be made very light so they can transfer a longer distance with a limited amount of energy.
Instructions or assembly procedures
are available online at
Construction of an electric car is an engineering/ technology project. When you try your car in a race, the one that is built with more precision and more considerations, will be the fastest. To build and use this car as a science project, you may find a research subject that is closely related to that. For example you may try to find out:
Which battery brand provides the most power to your car?
Make a slight slope (about 10%) and use your car to carry some load up the slope. Find out what is the maximum weight that can be carried by your car. You may use pennies as weight. Each penny is about 3 grams.