Electric Car Race at HHS – A First


A unique race was held Saturday with three electric cars on the campus of the Haleyville City Schools in the first competition of its type in Haleyville. The contest pitted cars built by student team members all following a set of rules to make it a level playing field for the competitors. In addition to the car built and driven by the Haleyville Center of Technology students, Decatur, and Clay County also competed. According to the HHS sponsor, Jamie White, two other schools had to withdraw because of school tests at the same time.

The winner was Decatur, Haleyville second and Clay County third overall following two races. The timed races were to determine how much distance the vehicles could travel in one hour. In the first race, Decatur was slightly over 23 miles and Haleyville approximately 15.

These cars can be built in any configuration, but the three-wheel design offers less resistance or drag. All the vehicles use the same size motors and batteries. The Haleyville Auto Zone furnished the batteries for the HHS entry. White pointed out the vehicles can cost as much as $7,000. Haleyville did not win, but the initial thought was the electrical wiring may have been too small. Jamie White pointed out there will be some other modifications.

The first race of this kind was held five years ago at Barbers Motor Speedway in Birmingham with only 4 cars participating. Last year the Haleyville students raced at Barbers along with 36 other cars in the same class. This was the first race hosted by Haleyville. White hopes to make this an annual local event. There are only three other such races in the state.

The students benefit by learning about engineering, electricity, mechanics, and working as a team. This is the fifth year of competition in Alabama and is becoming a unique sport which is developing a serious-minded following.

It takes a lot of people to support just one car. The driver is Clint Edwards. Tow crew is John Cavender, Hayden Ward, Brant White, Austin Taylor and Bryton Frost. Spotter crew is Austin Long, Dustin Childers, Conner Winters, Josefina Ruiz, Tyler Dodd, Gavin Godsey, Christian Marbutt, and Alex Smith. The Pit Crew is Dylan Bishop, Noah Tittle, Zack Cornelius, Luke Ryan, Hayden Kelly and Brandon Lyon.

Special thanks to the Haleyville Rescue Squad for providing traffic control for the two streets at the school during the races.