Build your electric car

VŠB – Technical University of Ostrava and its partners work on a “Build your electric car” kit, which is intended for secondary school students. This is the latest addition to a range of popularization activities to increase young people’s interest in studying technical fields.

Researchers from the SAZE team (an acronym meaning “alternative power systems”) at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, VŠB-TUO participated in creating the KAIPAN 415 electric car kit designed for secondary school students specialising in automotive. The vehicle and its kit were developed by the Joint Research and Development Centre for Electromobility in Smržovka, founded by the consortium of VŠB-TUO, KAIPAN and Isotra in 2008. “The electrical and electronic part of KAIPAN 415 is being developed and tested at VŠB-TUO. The university is the supervisor and methodical consultant for the installation and operation of electric drive”, says associate professor Bohumil Horák, head of the research team.

In the course of the project, four vehicles were gradually assembled, two of which were designed for road traffic and two are used by VŠB-TUO for demonstration and other development purposes. The KAIPAN 415 prototype was built in response to the expanding micro-vehicle market. It is a two-track vehicle, and the first Czech vehicle that can be driven by people aged 15 years and older. The electric vehicle and its components are offered commercially by KAIPAN; the vehicle is available complete or as a kit with components to be assembled by the client.

The KAIPAN 415 has an electric motor, three gears (forward, neutral, reverse) and a front wheel drive. It reaches a maximum speed of 40 km/h and has a travel distance of 40 to 80 km, depending on the battery and the range extension unit. It does not produce CO2 emissions.

“We are currently preparing an initial series of the construction kit for secondary school students; we are talking with suppliers and other partners”, says Bohumil Horák. He adds that “the practical training of secondary school students supported by the KAIPAN 415 electric car kit will be great for motivating secondary schools students to pursue further study.”

In February 2018, the “Build your electric car” kit was presented to secondary schools. In June, associate professor Horák and his team are preparing a workshop for secondary school directors and teachers, especially from the Moravian-Silesian Region, where they will present the kit. In the next year, schools are planning to purchase the kit for their students.