The price tag of the Tesla Model S, or other EVs for that matter, did not deter these students from Rhode Island from getting their own electric vehicle. Alec Figueiredo, Tiverton High School student, and graduate Zachary Silveira, built their own EV which they named Apotheosis, with the help of their teacher and their local club.
The EV had mileage rating of an incredible 1,552 MPGe! That’s like getting from Providence to Oklahoma City using a single gallon of gasoline (if driving in a straight line were possible). The car cost a tad less than US$1,600 to build at US$ 1,584.
And that’s not all. This was actually the second EV that students of Tiverton made. Last year, they built an EV called Endurance, together with another student, Ryan Mirka, for less than a thousand US dollars. Endurance has a range of 30 miles (48 kilometers), a top speed of 18 mph (28.8 kph) and a mileage rating of 425 MPGe. So, they were able to triple the mileage rating within a year.
They made a lot of changes to do this. First, they made the chassis of Apotheosis lighter than Endurance. Next, they put transformers to increase the voltage to the motor. Also, one rear wheel was removed and the EV had better batteries. But the greatest improvement in mileage was achieved by installing a solar panel roof that gave it that crazy mileage. They proved this by driving the EV for just over 50 miles.
Their teacher, Edwin Fernandes said it took about 600 hours to complete.
When asked by a reporter why they build EVs, Fernandes quoted JFK, “We do this and many other things – not because they are easy, but because they are hard”. So, is making EVs popular this generation’s moon shot? If the work of these teenagers is any indication, that may be the case.