Bendigo Tech School was recently represented on the global stage at Australia's biggest electric car show.
The Girls in STEAM Electric Car Project team wowed over 15,000 visitors with our Range Rover Classic electric four-wheel drive conversion at Sydney's Fully Charged LIVE event on 11+10 March. The project featured as part of the Eclectic Electric stand hosted by Fellten, the world’s largest electrical car conversion company. Project participant Della Czuczman soke as part of the Women in Cleantech Panel on the main stage alongside industry leaders such as Samantha Johnson, Managing Director of Polestar Australia.
Although incomplete, our conversion was an absolute attention grabber. The Fully Charged audience were as fascinated by this Girls in STEAM project as they were with the technology in the electric power train. With students on hand to answer questions, and Della appearing on the main stage, Bendigo Tech School’s iconic Electric Range Rover was arguably one of the most inspiring projects on show.
Our EV project commenced in 2021 with a donation from Agnico Eagle’s Community Partnership Program. Around 30 girls from Bendigo schools and Victorian tertiary institutions have worked to convert the Range Rover from internal combustion to electric four-wheel drive. The students have learned about and worked on every system on a car including metal fabrication, suspension, braking, interior, wiring and the design integration of electric drive monitoring systems into the existing instrumentation and controls. The vehicle is on track to be completed this year and had already inspired girls working on it to enter the automotive industry. One participant has secured a full-time role with an industry partner, with another two taking up industry placements to gain experience in the sector.
The project team have worked with a range of global and local automotive partners, who specialise in electric conversions. Fellten have designed the electric conversion with input
from the students and some of the team have been embedded in the Fellten factory to remain close to the conversion work. In Bendigo, the car and its components have moved between automotive businesses where the students work under the mentorship and supervision of experience tradespeople. The project is housed at Custom and Automotive Restoration Services in Kangaroo Flat, with work also performed at Bendigo Accident Repair Centre and Hattam Street Tyre and Mechanical.
The finished vehicle will stay in Bendigo and be made available to for community hire, allowing visitors to the region to experience the EV driving experience and see how electrification can not only keep classic cars on the road, but improve their comfort and performance. Car hire revenue will be reinvested into start-ups for young people to establish sustainability focussed enterprises.
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