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Luverne Students Complete First Electric Vehicle

April 23, 2014, 5:00 PM by Hailey Higgins

Luverne Students Complete First Electric Vehicle

A Luverne High School engineering class just put the finishing touches on its first ever electric car. It took two years to complete.

Riding around the Luverne High School Parking lot, Brent Thompson isn't using a drop of gas in this small pick-up.

"Goes pretty far on one charge, and we've charged it up a couple times as well," Thompson said.

This electric vehicle was engineered by more than a dozen students over two years.

It's powered by a series of batteries and a motor from a large forklift.

Hailey: Where have you taken this truck?
Brent: Mostly around town right now.

Thompson's father, Bill teaches engineering in Luverne. He pushed the students to build a large-scale project to promote automotive technology and alternative fuel vehicles.

"The forklift cables provide the power, right through the cables, up to the front of the vehicle," Bill Thompson said.

"I come down here every day to work on it," Brent said. "Taking it apart, there were a lot of parts that were heavy parts to take off."

"When it came down to electrical stuff, it definitely became harder than what I thought," Chris Hoogland said.

And while learning the technology and implementing it into the vehicle wasn't easy, the students say it was worth it.

"We hooked up a bunch of things to switches, the turn signal, the headlights, windshield wipers, it's been fun," Brent said.

"You can do anything it seems like," Hoogland said. "We've got a bunch of teenage kids putting together an electric vehicle; you don't see that every day."

Bill Thompson plans to have student do more electric projects in the future, including more cars, four-wheelers and even a motorcycle.

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