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Alumni News

Sheridan's First Electric Car Ready to Roll

April 25, 2011

Since unveiling its first electric car on April 7, the Sheridan Engineering Club (SEC) has fielded requests from green energy shows, shopping malls and even the Santa Claus Parade asking for a closer look at the potential replacement to our gas-burning wheels. 

The culmination of a year-long project, the car was designed and built by 28 members of the Club which is made up of students and alumni from a variety of Sheridan’s engineering programs. 

Albert Gostick, SEC President and project team leader looks forward to helping future students enhance the performance and appearance of the vehicle. “The project will provide a new outlet for incoming students to test their creative ideas,” says Gostick, who plans to stay involved with the Club after he graduates from the Electronics Engineering program in June. 

Daniel Da Luz is also eager to continue working on the next phase of the project. Part of the original group of students who brought forth the idea of building an electric car, Daniel is gratified to see the venture reach this stage. “I enjoy being able to use all my creativity to produce projects of this scale,” says the Electronics Engineering Technologist Co-op graduate who works for Flodraulic, manufacturing and assisting in the design of fluid power control systems. 

On hand for the unveiling of the vehicle was Jay Lockwood, Owner of J. Lockwood Chrysler in Oakville, which donated $10,000 as well as a 2002 Dodge Neon to the Club in December 2010. Other sponsors included the Institution of Engineering and Technology and Sheridan College. The Club estimates the final cost of the project to be $25,000. 

With continued funding, students will be studying the economic viability of electric cars, says Tony Orlando, Faculty Advisor on the project who has been teaching at Sheridan for 23 years. “With new battery technologies coming out daily there is much to learn and many challenges ahead.” Tackling these challenges through projects like the electric car will also help students gain crucial job experience, he adds. “The students gain knowledge that they can apply to real life work situations after they graduate.” 

For now, students will be concentrating on detailing and painting the car for future display. The vehicle will be featured at a green energy show in Windsor later this year. 

The SEC worked with B.C.-based company, Canadian Electric Vehicles, which supplies electric conversion kits and parts. The car currently runs on D/C batteries, which will be replaced in May with lithium batteries, dramatically reducing the weight of the car. The converted electric car was tested at speeds up to 60 mph, running off a 52-horsepower motor. The SEC is now working to have the vehicle licensed for the road. 

 SEC electric car small

Sheridan Engineering Club: Front row (l-r); Matt Bechberger, Albert Gostick, Reiner Schmidt, Dan Da Luz, and Jay Solank. Back row (l-r); Tony Orlando, Chi Le, Jon Marques, James Zapasek, Norm Palmer, Eustace Ramsay, and Kenneth Faria. Absent; Daniel Filiatreault, Brian Short, Bryan Michaliuk, Abad Hameed, and Syed Rafey.