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Moray students build and test-drive eco car

By Lorna Thompson

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MORAY students are driving forward greener living by building their own electric car.

Motor vehicle students at Moray College UHI went on quite a learning journey through the project, which is run in partnership with the Greenpower Education Trust (GET).

The trust provided the City and Guilds student team with a kit to build the working prototype.

The GET is a UK-based charity which aims to kick-start careers in engineering and inspire young people to excel in science, technology, engineering and maths through designing, building and racing an electric car.

The project, which was facilitated by Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) Moray, has been hailed a success by lecturer Paul Rochford.

He said: "This is a fantastic way of learning for the students.

"The students who come in here get access to real vehicles and work on real cars – but working on the green car is much more rudimentary. It has helped to teach them the basics and then be able to apply the technology elsewhere.

"One of the main parts of the project that the students have enjoyed and found rewarding was the electrics. Being able to work on the electrics from scratch has been so beneficial and there have been those who have then applied what they have learned when working on other vehicles."

(From left) Aimee Stephen, from DYW Moray, and lecturer Paul Rochford with the Moray College UHI student team involved in building an electric car.
(From left) Aimee Stephen, from DYW Moray, and lecturer Paul Rochford with the Moray College UHI student team involved in building an electric car.

Student John Dalmon (21) said: "Because we built the car from scratch, we learned everything as we went along and as there was no bodywork you could see how everything went together. I found it particularly useful being able to see how the car actually steers."

Fellow student Charlotte Usher (43) said: "It has been a great experience and it was great to work on this as part of a team. It’s also allowed us to experience elements of car design that we might not have if we didn’t have access to the kit. For example, we had to research car design as we were tasked with making the bodywork for the green car."

She added: "The electrics involved following a wiring diagram, which was a new skill for most of us. Having it laid out in a smaller vehicle made it easier to visualise how the electrics in a full-size car would work."

The students also took their vehicle for test drive around the college car park. Charlotte added: "Watching the car being driven for the first time round the car park and the attention it gathered from others was a real buzz."

Sarah Baxter, manager of DYW Moray, said: "We were delighted to invest in this project working alongside the Greenpower Education Trust and, of course, the team at Linkwood Technology Centre.

"Inspiring people in science, technology, engineering and maths subjects is big on the education agenda and this project has been a fitting way to do just that."

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