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Students Build Electric Truck to Aim at New World Records


Posted 02/09/2016
Posted by Meagan Fazio


Students discuss their plans to improve the performance of their electric truck.

Students discuss their plans to improve the performance of their electric truck.

On a bright Saturday morning in January, five student members of the University’s Green 707 Club screamed with happiness as they drove their electric truck for the first time. “It was exceptionally exciting to take it for a drive,” says Paul Mangelsdorf ‘18, who has been working since the fall of 2014 with the others on transforming a gas-fueled truck into an electric vehicle. Their success is not final however. The next step is to make the truck “street legal” and ready for a national electric vehicle drag racing competition where the students hope to qualify for a world record in the pro street A category for electric vehicles.

Watch a video about the vehicle:



In the fall semester 2015, Paul and fellow club members, Sean Biegler ’18, Jared Deleon ’18, Brandon Zonghi ’16, and August Pelliccio’18 spent roughly 1,200 hours on the project. The club members get together every weekend to work on the truck’s performance under the supervision of Professor Hemchandra Shertukde in the University’s College of Engineering, Technology, and Architecture (CETA). By combining what they have learned in class with additional knowledge obtained through online research, they come up with creative ideas on how to improve the vehicle.

They don’t just work on the technical side of the project, they are also involved in the fundraising and management of the electric truck. “It is an excellent learning experience and it teaches them project management, fundraising, and teamwork skills,” says CETA Dean Lou Manzione.

The hands-on aspect of the project is preparing the students for future career success in the emergent area of sustainability. “After this, I’m really interested in different systems for running cars, and with this experience, I hope to work for a car company,” says Sean.
Students discuss their plans to improve the performance of their electric truck.

Students discuss their plans to improve the performance of their electric truck.