Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Local News

May 14, 2013

Racing with new technology

Purdue-Kokomo students race electric vehicle

— What started as a class project in 2011 to race an electric powered go kart has developed into a club at the Purdue College of Technology in Kokomo.

The team of students competed at the evGrandPrix on the Purdue University campus in April and finished fourth out of 19 teams. This past weekend, the team competed at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Jimmy Simpson with the Purdue West Lafayette Electric Vehicle Club won the event on the university’s campus. He also won the gas-powered race on the same weekend.

The Kokomo team finished eighth in the fast heat competition Sunday at IMS.

Paul Kennelly, 21, Kokomo, had no experience racing, but because he posted the best practice lap times among the club members he was designated the driver.

Because of rain in Kokomo, the team turned practice laps in a parking garage on the Kokomo campus at night.

“It was interesting,” Kennelly said of competing in the race at Purdue. “We did it to have a good time.”

After getting tangled in traffic on the opening lap, Kennelly found himself starting second to last, but, like any good racer, stayed out of trouble, made up lost time and finished fourth.

“We’re going to win next year,” he said. “I may have to take him out,” he said of the winning driver.

Kevin Taylor, who teaches electrical and computer engineering at the school, said the idea to construct an battery powered kart was a junior class project.

Taylor said the students modified the kart frame to house battery packs on both sides of the driver’s compartment, installation of the electric motor and computer components.

The kart is powered by lithium iron phosphate batteries that take approximately two hours to charge. The batteries are manufactured in China and have a 72-volt charge.

Kennelly said the difference in the Kokomo club’s kart and the winning entry was weight.

“The winning kart could accelerate faster,” he said. “Since I was new to racing, I didn’t want to cause a wreck. I drove conservatively and was comfortable with what I was doing.”

Equipped with an 18-horsepower engine, the karts are capable of obtaining speeds in the 45 mile per hour range, Taylor said.

Tires for the kart are priced at $450 for a set of four.

Crew member Devon Jaenicke, 20, Forest, said he drove the kart a few times during practice sessions.

“Paul had the best times and did most of the work on the kart,” he said of why Kennelly was selected to drive.

Jaenicke said one responsibility for team members is making sure the two battery packs are charged equally and the kart conforms to the safety requirements.

Jaenicke said he saw the cart sitting in the lab and wanted to get involved. “Once I found out about the club, I wanted to join.”

The club hopes to have a second electric-powered kart completed in time for the 2014 competition, he said.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • NWS - KT082114 - Banks Additional charges filed against attempted murder suspect A 17-year-old facing attempted murder charges in connection with a Tuesday shooting incident now also faces charges of criminal recklessness and pointing a firearm.Kokomo police were called to the city’s northeast side on a report of shots fired Tues

    August 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jenkins card Greatest Save brings Major Leaguers to Kokomo Community First Bank Executive Vice President Bob Hickman saw first hand the great benefits and excitement the Greatest Save program brought to the community of Evansville the last two years. He watched as Major League Baseball legends like Rollie Fi

    August 21, 2014 3 Photos

  • Buddy Bags starts gearing up Every kid who goes to school gets at least one square meal a day. For some kids, that’s the only good meal they’ll get.And when they weekend rolls around, children living in poverty may not be eating at all.“We knew that some kids were eating school

    August 21, 2014

  • More charges filed in attempted murder case

    Additional charges of criminal recklessness and pointing a firearm were filed today in the case against a 17-year-old arrested Tuesday stemming from a shooting on the city's north east side. Kokomo police arrested the teen identified as Treyshon Bank

    August 20, 2014

  • Truckers on Strike Local 135 strikes against trucking company Members of Teamsters Local Union 135 went on strike Wednesday morning against Diamond Trucking Inc. after new contract negotiations broke down Tuesday night. Thirty-eight members of Diamond Trucking, which hauls materials for Kokomo Gravel to places

    August 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • NWS KT 082114 Western site plan Western seeks public input on athletic facility renovations RUSSIAVILLE — For the third month in a row, the main topic of Western School Corp. board of education meeting was a face lift for school facilities. The board held two public hearings before a regular meeting Tuesday to gain input on two stages of th

    August 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Indiana told to honor other states' gay marriages INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A federal judge ruled Tuesday that Indiana must recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states, but says the ruling doesn't take effect until the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rules on the issue. U.S. District Judge R

    August 20, 2014

  • EHS Renovations 04 Eastern's $14 million renovation project nearing completion GREENTOWN – As Eastern Howard School Corp. nears the end of a two-year construction project, the majority of the $14 million renovation is not readily apparent.Much of the work has centered on replacing the heating, ventilation and air conditioning s

    August 20, 2014 4 Photos

  • SECOND UPDATE: Teen to face adult charges in Monday shooting

    A 17-year-old arrested for attempted murder Monday evening will face the charge as an adult.Treshon Banks is accused of involvement in a shooting incident near Studebaker Park off East Elm Street.A Kokomo Police Department custody report stated

    August 20, 2014

  • NWS KT 082014 Rick Rhodes Kokomo man wins Hoosier Millionaire Championship INDIANAPOLIS — Kokomo man Rick Rhodes took the top spot on Saturday night's 25th Anniversary Championship Hoosier Millionaire Show at the Indiana State Fair. Rhodes stopped short of becoming the Hoosier Millionaire Show's 192nd millionaire, but he wa

    August 19, 2014 1 Photo

Latest news
Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
US Mission to Rescue Hostages in Syria Failed Manfred, Torre and MLB Take Ice Bucket Challenge Bank of America Reaches Record $17B Settlement Holder Reassures Ferguson Community With Visit GlobalPost CEO Remembers Foley As a Brave Man Seth Meyers Rolls Out Emmy Red Carpet Obama: World Is Appalled by Murder of Journalist Israel, Militants Trade Fire After Talks Fail Pres. George W. Bush Takes Ice Bucket Challenge Pierce Brosnan's Call to Join the Expendables Changes Coming to No-Fly List Raw: IDF Footage Said to Show Airstrikes Police: Ferguson More Peaceful Raw: Aftermath of Airstrike in Gaza Raw: Thousands March on Pakistani Parliament Raw: World's Oldest Man Lives in Japan Fire Crews Tame Yosemite Fire Raw: Police Weapon Drawn Near Protesters, Media Raw: Explosions in Gaza As Airstrikes Resume Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.