MerleFest has made great strides in the past few years toward “going green.” Each year our goals and those of Wilkes Community College include ways in which we can be more environmentally conscious. The college’s Industrial Technology & Engineering Club (ITEC) uses the funds they earn selling drinks and candy at MerleFest to build “green projects.” These projects include such devices as wind turbines and an electric vehicle.
The club’s electric vehicle has a North Carolina license tag and is on the road. This year’s funds from their work at MerleFest will help them to purchase batteries that can hold a charge for thirty miles and be recharged repeatedly. Once they have these batteries, the vehicle will be used as a courier truck between the WCC Ashe Campus and the Ashe Campus School of Cosmetic Arts, which is six miles away. The electric vehicle will be on display in the Shoppes at MerleFest during the festival. Be sure to check it out!
Chris Bare, club advisor, says that his students gain a sense of accomplishment through their work at the festival. “MerleFest provides recognition and an economic boost for Wilkes Community College and the community. That economic boost is enhanced by club volunteers.” He comments that it is also an opportunity for students to improve their social networking skills.
The WCC’s Industrial Technology & Engineering Club students are part of the USA’s future. At a time when gasoline prices are rising higher and humans are seeking to reduce their carbon footprint, we need to depend on original minds like the ITEC students to help us become a greener world! Thank you members of ITEC!
Standing in front of truck, left to right: ITEC students Keith Loggins, James Drake and James Blevins
Standing in bed of truck, left to right: Eddie Carter, WCC instructor; Chris Robinson, director of WCC Ashe Campus; Chris Bare, WCC instructor
ITEC Electric Vehicle Specifications
- 144 Volts DC
- 9.1” Advanced DC Electric Motor (96-144 volts)
- 1994 GMC Sonoma
- Weight of Vehicle is 5,000 lb
- Can be charged on any 120 volt outlet (Quick Charge Brand on Board Battery charger)
- Range on the batteries as of now is 5.5 to 6 miles. (New batteries are expected to get 30 miles per charge.)
- Has 11.25”, 1000 lb electric actuator to lift the bed
- 500 amp Curtis Controller
- Top Speed thus far is 60 mph ( 70 expected)
- 100% In-house custom designed kit and components
- 13 batteries total, 8 under the bed, 3 under the hood, and two under front bumper, 1 battery is for auxiliary and 12 power the motor
Customized power steering and power brake system (Hydroboost off of a 1993 Astro van, and power steering pump and pulley off of a 1986 Chevy Blazer)
- Donations and money raised: $7,700. $8,500 invested in the truck