Electric Vehicle Grand Prix

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The Electric Vehicle Grand Prix is an electric go-kart race held at Purdue University and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

How it started[edit]

Purdue University, in conjunction with University of Notre Dame, University of Indianapolis, Ivy Tech Community College, Purdue University Calumet, and Indiana University Northwest, was awarded a $6.1 million grant by the United States Department of Energy. This grant was awarded to create The Indiana Advanced Electric Vehicle Training and Education Consortium (I-AEVtec). The goal of this consortium is to educate and train the workforce needed to design, manufacture, and maintain advanced electric vehicles and the associated infrastructure. This goal includes creating online courses related to batteries, fuel cells, motors, controls, electric vehicles, and environmental impact. As part of this grant, Purdue created an event called the Electric Vehicle Grand Prix. The grant was part of the grants announced by President Obama at a speech in Elkhart, Indiana in August 2009.[1]

The race[edit]

The Electric Vehicle Grand Prix is an event at Purdue University that allows students to get real experience with electric vehicles. The first Electric Vehicle Grand Prix was held on April 18, 2010. Students join a team either through a build class or a student-organized team. Each team builds a battery-powered electric go-kart and races it in the event. The 2010 race was an endurance race consisting of 80 laps and a battery change.[2] In 2011, a second event took place at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway where teams would compete in the International evGrand Prix. For the 2013 International evGrand Prix, the event was split up into two races. The first race featured electric karts with standard motors and batteries while the second race featured karts with upgraded motors and batteries.

Education now[edit]

Currently at Purdue there are four classes being offered that relate directly to electric vehicles across multiple disciplines. They include "Communication and Emerging Technologies" and "Electric Vehicle Systems".


Purdue University[edit]

  • 2010: Brett Hensler [3]
  • 2011: Justin Cleaver [4]
  • 2012: Jimmy Simpson [5]
  • 2013: Jimmy Simpson

Indianapolis Motor Speedway[edit]

  • 2011: Chris Weyer [6]
  • 2012: Jimmy Simpson [7]
  • 2013 Race 1: Rob Havel
  • 2013 Race 2: Jimmy Simpson
  • 2014: Chip Challis

EV vs. Gas Challenge[edit]

On October 25, 2014, five EV and five gas karts competed on the same track for the first time in Purdue history. The race was scheduled for October 18, but was delayed due to rain. Cary Racing swept the front row with a gas kart on pole, and an EV starting second. The gas karts dominated the race, as eventual winner Eli Salamie leading all 40 laps for Cary Racing. Christian Jones in the #35 PEF kart was the highest finishing EV kart in 4th.

Interesting History[edit]


  • EVC sets a lap record time of 25.9 s [8]


  • The Indiana-only race was on April 30 at Purdue University.
  • A week later, on May 7, there will be a race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for any school wishing to participate.[9]


  • The attendance was over 2000 people.
  • 18 karts were signed up for the race, only 17 raced in the event.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]