HAYS, KS -- Electricity: clean, quiet, reliable. And, on Saturday, Oct. 13, it will come in cars to Fort Hays State University.
In an annual FHSU event called Electrathon, a race for electric cars built and maintained by area high schools and sponsored by local electric companies, electricity will show its abilities in this new arena.
The Technology Studies Department of FHSU is sponsoring its fourth annual Electrathon America High Plains Rally on Oct. 13 at Felten Middle School, Hays.
More room is available for prospective entrants and registration is open through the day of the event. Entrants not affiliated with a high school may also compete and observers are welcome to attend. All entrants must complete a liability and registration form before the race.
Two 12-volt batteries must be used to power each car, allowing for a fair race. The design, with minimal safety restrictions, is left to the discretion of each respective high school.
The only other design restriction is that there has to be a 180-pound load in each vehicle. This is typically accounted for by the driver, but some teams may have to place additional weight, of whatever form, in their cars.
After registration, inspections and two meetings, the experimental (previously solar-assisted) class will start the races at 11 a.m. and will be followed by the novice class, which is for first-year racers. The races will be concluded with the standard-class race at 2 p.m.
The winner of each race will be determined by which car completes the most laps in one hour, with speed and driving style being left to the discretion of the driver.
Prospective participants for Electrathon should call Joseph Chretien, assistant professor of technology studies, for the necessary forms at (785) 628-4314.