Ohio Technical College Students Build Electric-Powered Van

CLEVELAND, Ohio – In response to the nation’s growing desire to be more "green" and less oil dependent, students enrolled in Ohio Technical College’s Alternative Fuel program recently developed an all-electric powered vehicle dubbed the "Electro-Van." The Van, a 1997 Ford E350, runs solely off the power of electricity, is fully functional and can reach speeds of up to 35 mph with a two-hour drive-time capacity.

"What a great way to show off our students’ abilities and to increase public awareness of alternative fuel vehicle options," said Tom King, director of Enrollment Management, Ohio Technical College.  "As the world continues to get greener, it’s vital our students are trained and knowledgeable about the products, technologies and processes involved in creating, converting and maintaining alternative fuel vehicles."

A group of 13 Ohio Technical College students took six weeks to design and build the Electro-Van, which included converting it from diesel to electric with revisions to the body and drive train to accommodate the new power supply system.  The vehicle now uses 21 batteries for power – solar panels have been added for recharging the batteries – and an electric motor that delivers up to 95 horsepower. 

In addition to mechanical conversions, students enrolled in OTC’s Collision Repair classes painted the Electro-Van green to represent a healthy and clean environment.  A diamond plate interior was also installed for an ultra modern look.  The final step was a full-body wrap, complete with lightning bolts, a globe and the Ohio Technical College logo, designed by the school’s Custom Paint and Graphics Division students. 

Sponsors who contributed to the Electro-Van project are: Pro-Class; Ralph H. Phillips Companies; T & K Welding Co. Inc.; A & B Grinding; Bills Transmissions; Ohio Materials Handling Inc.; Interstate Batteries; Goodyear; GC Supply Inc.; Kirk Battery; and Modern Tire Mart Inc.

About Ohio Technical College
Ohio Technical College (OTC) is an accredited private, proprietary technical school dedicated to providing premier technical training in the world of modern mechanics by pursuing industry alliances, providing outstanding training equipment and focusing on the needs of individual students.  An Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT) college, OTC encompasses nearly 800,000 sq. feet of classroom and workshop space.  Drawing students from all over the United States, OTC offers technician training programs in Automotive, Diesel, Auto-Diesel, Collision Repair, Classic Car Restoration and PowerSport Technology as well as specialization in High Performance and Racing, BMW, Alternative Fuel Vehicles, Custom Paint and Graphics, CDL Truck Driver Training, Power Generator Systems and Welding.  Motorcycle technician training is provided through the PowerSport Institute, a branch campus of OTC in North Randall, Ohio.  For more information, write to Ohio Technical College at 1374 E. 51st St. Cleveland, Ohio, 44103; call 800.322.7000 ext. 163; or visit www.ohiotechnicalcollege.com and www.psi-now.com.

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