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Strong finish for North Delta school at electric go-kart contest

Seaquam Car Club placed second at inaugural Edison Motors High School EV Challenge in Merritt

A trio of North Delta students are celebrating after coming second at the inaugural Edison Motors High School EV Challenge last month.

Held May 25 at the Merritt Rodeo Grounds, the Challenge saw nearly two dozen teams of students from around B.C. design and build an electric go-kart and compete in four race events: a sled pull where the go-karts had to tow a weighted-down trailer, an off-road course with big bumps, jumps, dips and other obstacles, a barrel race on a figure-eight track, and a high-speed race on a gravel track.

Edison Motors, a two-and-a-half year old Merritt-based company that produces electric and hybrid semi-trucks and electric vehicle conversion kits, founded and sponsored the event as a way to raise interest in EVs.

Schools were provided with go-kart kits that included axles, brakes, motors and batteries, and teams had four to five months to design and build their karts, including fabricating their vehicles' frames.

One of the teams competing in the event was a trio from Seaquam Secondary — Grade 11 student Shaan Rakhra and Grade 12 students Theo Pitsos and Avery Mackenzie — along with the school's automotive teacher, Gord Ryall.

“Shaan, Avery and Theo formed the Seaquam Car Club and worked really hard after school a couple of days a week to complete the project,” Ryall said in story posted to the Delta School District website.

The club posted the fastest times in both the barrel race and the sled pull, and finished in the top ten on the off-road course even though their go-kart was designed to race on a paved track.

“We were originally informed that the race would be on a paved track, so the students based their design on that premise. Later, we found out it would be an off-road event, which meant their design was not ideal for the course," Ryall said. "Unfortunately, there wasn’t enough time to redesign and build, which makes their success in Merritt even more impressive.”

In the end, Seaquam placed second overall, edging out Merrit Secondary and finishing behind Chilliwack's Sardis Secondary.

“Overall, it was a super fun experience, and everyone had a great time,” Ryall said.

Edison Motors has already confirmed they'll be holding the second annual High School EV Challenge in 2025, and Ryall plans to again have a team from Seaquam compete in the event.

“Next year, we’ll get students in the metalwork, engineering, drafting and automotive programs involved in the car club as all of these skills are used in the challenge,” he said.

James Smith

About the Author: James Smith

James Smith is the founding editor of the North Delta Reporter.
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