Kicking Off the Year, 2016-2017

The Electric Vehicle team started the year early, with the first meeting of the new school year on Sunday, August 14. We’re proud to welcome new members Ryan Marx, Nolan Vess, Ethan Choate, Eric McKenzie, Parker Turnage, and Josh Bryant.  Since the first meeting of the year we’ve installed a new auxiliary battery pack in the Datsun, done body work such as fixing the side view mirrors, worked on reparing the Datsun’s bumper, and ambitious new members have even fixed the outside door handles. A cataloguing system for all the team’s batteries has also been constructed, with cloud updating capabilities. DSC_0386.JPG

The EV team put on a good showing at the SVGS STEM open house, showing new SVGS parents and students both the Porsche and Datsun. We were happy to tell new students all about the benefits and experience gained being part of the EV team.

An exciting new addition to the Datsun is the Raspberry Pi tablet PC installed in the Datsun’s dashboard, which will allow for easier and on the go data collection from the Orion BMS system. The Pi was installed at the end of last year by team member Ben Lawn as his senior project, however our first field run with the Pi will be at our first event at the end of September.


With our very first event of the year being on September 30th down at the North Carolina Automotive Research Institute, the team is working quickly in order to prepare the Datsun for some racing! David Waterman has generously donated his electric lawnmower to the EV Team, which we’ve extracted the BMS from and placed in the Datsun. Weighing in at about 200 lbs, the team had to do a little engineering in order to safely transport the BMS pack into the Datsun correctly, utilizing some metal pipes and rope. The team aims to wire the BMS into the Datsun and construct a 172 volt battery grid in time for our first event.


Here’s to a successful and fun year for the Shenandoah Valley Electric Vehicle Team!



All About Our Cars: The Datsun 240Z

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The 1971 Datsun 240Z was donated to the EV team in November of 1993. Since then, the Datsun has advanced through many wiring configurations with each passing wave of students. The vehicle currently runs on 156 V of lithium ion batteries, a student-built IGBT controller, and a 35 HP series wound DC motor. The team’s vision for the future of the Datsun includes increasing the number of batteries and overall voltage, getting a passenger seat, and implementing a data acquisition system.

All About Our Cars: The Porsche 911

A former member of the team spotted the Porsche 911 stationary on someone’s property and talked to its owner about donating it to the SVGS EV team. The owner agreed and the team began converting the vehicle from gas to electric. Since then, the Porsche has advanced through many wiring configurations with each passing wave of students. The vehicle currently runs on lead-acid batteries and sports a paint job courtesy of Foreign Affairs in Staunton, VA. The team’s vision for the future of the Porsche includes converting it to lithium-ion batteries, adding a battery management system, and implementing data acquisition.