Plugging into the future at CPIT

News News & events

05 May 2015

CPIT is plugging into a predicted electric vehicle (EV) revolution in the next decade by staging its second annual EV technology bootcamp this weekend. (Sunday May 10)

Aimed at high school-aged students, CPIT's EV technology teaching initiative EVolocity aims to help young people embrace the changing world of sustainable transportation.

This Sunday's first bootcamp for 2015 is a CPIT science, technology, engineering and maths or STEM learning project, to get teams started in designing and building an electric vehicle using a supplied kit of electric bicycle components, at a cost of about $500 per unit.

Last year, 16 teams took part in the inaugural programme, where they learned about mechanical, electrical and automotive engineering, power electronics and team work, CPIT STEM coordinator for the Department of Engineering and Architectural Studies, Miranda Satterthwaite, said.

However, it was predicted participation would more than double in 2015. 

"This year, CPIT is at the forefront of New Zealand in the development of science qualifications in the STEM area, therefore we see vehicle technology as a way to showcase this project-based learning for secondary students and those vital links between engineering and environmental science."

Through the EVolocity bootcamps, students would get a taste of the institute's new engineering systems analysis course, where they would also come into contact with the components, systems and principles used in engineering machinery and transport systems, including chassis design and aerodynamics, which is offered in the Bachelor of

Engineering Technology (BEngTech) degree course, she said. 

Satterthwaite also said "good minds" were needed to catch a predicted wave of employment opportunities in the sustainable cities field, which would help address local, national and global issues, such as reducing energy and dependence on fossil fuels. 

It was revealed at the recent public forum, Seismics and the City 2015 that CPIT needed to produce about 500 per cent more engineers to meet future demand, therefore attracting young people to careers initiated by STEM learning was vital, she said.

Sponsored by Canterbury regional electricity provider Orion New Zealand Limited, EVolocity was providing students with a window into the future use of clean and sustainable energy sources, EVolocity's founder and organiser, the New Zealand-based Association for the Promotion of Electric Vehicles APEV executive director Rob McEwen, said.

"The bottom line is that within 12 months, there will be many more EV charging infrastructure both in Christchurch and throughout New Zealand," McEwen said.

He had recently been in communication with the Minister of Energy and Transport Simon Bridges, who said New Zealand was "the most electric vehicle-ready country in the world" because of its significant renewable electricity sources, its motorists' relatively short travel distances, and the high proportion of off-street parking. 

 Mentorship and guidance in the design and build process will be provided at other EVolocity workshops held throughout the year, culminating in an EV Festival held at Mike Pero Motorsport Park on November 28 this year, where teams will get to put their vehicles to the test.

Event details:

The event will be held at the CPIT's Imagitech Theatre, starting at 9am. It will be run in-conjunction with other sustainable living initiatives such as Electroflash and Enviroschools.

Participants in EVolocity bootcamp 2015 will need to register with Miranda Satterthwaite by 5.00pm Thursday May 7 for catering purposes.

Teachers are invited to attend a forum at 11.40 am and bring along some assessment ideas or materials to show and tell.

CPIT is keen to coach some female teams this year, with a special session for planning and development scheduled at 2.30pm.

For more information about the EVolocity competition contact: or EVolocity high schools' programme manager Les Black email: or see