OSWEGO, NY – Members of the Oswego High School Technology Club’s Electrathon Team joined nine other schools recently at the Oswego Speedway for an Electrathon competition.
An Electrathon, involves three- or four-wheeled electric vehicles, somewhat similar in overall appearance to a Go-Kart with an aerodynamic body, but powered by an electric motor and batteries.
According to Matt Bock, the OHS Technology Club advisor, an Electrathon is a one-hour competition that tests drivers and vehicles to see how many laps the car can go within that time frame.
“Each vehicle must adhere to strict guidelines that keep the vehicles safe for the driver,” said Bock. “These guidelines also ensure the cars remain restricted to certain parts and weight to keep the competition close.”
Electrathon racing started in England, spread to Australia, and arrived in the United States in the 1980s.
The basic format is to determine which car can travel the furthest in one hour within the limitations of battery weight and other factors mentioned above.
The main design problem is posed by the fact that high speeds drain the batteries rapidly resulting in the cars not being able to continue in motion for the entire hour, so design teams must compromise speed in order to gain distance.
The main desideratum is efficiency of both the machine and driving technique.
The past two years, the Oswego Electrathon team traveled to Watkins Glen for competitions, but this year the team reached out to the Oswego Speedway to see if they could host the event, and according to Bock, they were a tremendous help in making the race happen.
Ten teams competed in this year’s Electrathon, with the farthest team traveling from Quebec, Canada.
The winner of this year’ race Palmyra-Macedon High School.
“Next year we were looking forward to growing the event to include even more teams,” said Bock.