Friday, October 25, 2013

First Place at the NEAT Rally

We competed last weekend at the NEAT Rally at NCCAR in Northampton County, NC; our Truck finished 1st place overall.  Special thanks to Tim George of Wilmington Motor Works and Greg Tarleton of Bluewater Motor Sports for transporting our vehicles; Tim was also invaluable in helping the event run smoothly.  Event results are as follows:

1st Place Jeopardy (Truck) - Ben and Justin
2nd Place Autocross (car) - Ryan

1st Place Autocross (truck) - Ben

1st Place Acceleration (car) - Logan and Katiana

2nd Place Acceleration (Truck) - Tyler and Roberto

2nd Place Troubleshooting (car) - Grant and Zac

1st Place Troubleshooting (truck) - Ryan and Justin

1st Place Range (truck) - Zac and Brandon

2nd Place Range (car) - Grant and Justin

1st Place overall - Truck (award presented by EV Challenge Executive Director, Steve Garrett)

More Pictures from the event:
A rare view inside the MR2.
Top two jeopardy teams, ready for action!

Pit Crew


Four Topsail Conversions - all together in the same place

Mr. Jeffcoat keeping an eye on things.


Ready to accelerate!


This is a tight fit.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Ready for the NEAT Rally

Our vehicles are loaded up and on their way to the NEAT Rally in Northampton County, NC, thanks to the transportation graciously donated by Blue Water Motorsports.  We also received generous donations from H.H. Gregg, Food Lion, Harris Teeter and Lowes Foods.
A special thanks to Greg, Roy, and all the folks at Blue Water Motorsports.
 We have installed a new electric heating system in our truck that should keep the windows frost-free this fall.

Brandon extracting the blower motor from a donor truck.
 One final step was to install the J1772 charging port on the car, which works with the charging station donated by Schneider Electric.
The port is cleverly hidden in the vent; you can use a regular household outlet with the plug under the fuel door.
The EVlink charging station, powered on and charging the MR2.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Spot Festival

Once again the Topsail Electric Vehicles were on display at the NC Spot Festival in Hampstead.  The event was a great success with beautiful weather both days.  We were able to educate many community members about our vehicles while enjoying good music and food.

A beautiful day in Hampstead.

Our new LED lighting system is great for nighttime displays.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Lights, Camera, Action!

Our new school year is now underway, and one of our first tasks was to lead the homecoming parade.

Although the game didn't turn out in our favor, the vehicles were a big hit, especially the new lighting system we have added to the car.
We are busy adding a similar system to the truck, and hope to have another surprise in store before this weekend's Spot Festival.

We hope to have both vehicles in top condition before our first competition, the NEAT rally at NCCAR on October 18-19.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Introducing the Voltswagen!!

We are proud to announce the completion of our latest vehicle, a 1961 VW Bug, the Voltswagen, just in time for Mr. Garrett's 50th birthday!  The car belongs to Mr. Garrett, our former instructor, who was just named Executive Director of the EV Challenge.  In addition to everyday use, he will use this vehicle as a tool for recruiting new schools to participate in the EV Challenge. 
Some students stayed late into the night to get it finished!
The front battery box; charger is underneath.

The rear battery box, on the package shelf.

Plugged in and charging!

She's ready to go!

The Motor, controller and DC/DC converter.

Details of the car are as follows:

44 100 Ah Thundersky Cells
Lithiumate Lite BMS
Elcon PFC 1500 Charger
DCP Raptor 1200A Controller
ADC 9" Motor
Battery heaters
Range:  75 miles projected
Top Speed: Faster than stock
Acceleration: MUCH faster than stock

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Raffle Time

It's time for the annual spring Fundraiser Raffle.  We have a lot of great things planned for next year, but none of it is possible without your financial support.

You can win one of over $2,000 in prizes:

iPad Mini
Dyson Hand Vac
Side Arm Paddleboard Lessons
Surf City Pier Season Pass
Auto Detailing at Stevenson Acura
Tree Stand
Music Loft Gift Card
Golf and Cart for 4
Beach Bowl for 6 (x2)
4 Rounds at Ten Pin Alley (x5)
Ice House Skating for 4
Shuckers Gift Card
3 Fishing Rods
Max's Pizza
Walgreens Gift Bag
Second Wind Fitness Membership
O'Leary's Car Service
Poplar Grove Gift Basket
...and more!

The drawing will be held May 29th at 5:30PM in the EV Shop.

You can purchase tickets from any EV Student.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Earth Day Celebration - EV Style

We are here live at the Wilmington Earth Day Celebration at Hugh McRae Park until 6PM.  Come out and visit us - the festival is free and there is a free shuttle from the Cinema 6 on Oleander Dr.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Display at Burgaw Elementary; Raffle Coming Soon!

Yesterday we displayed the MR2 at Burgaw Elementary School's Reading Celebration.  The students, parents and teachers enjoyed learning about our program; most had never seen an electric car before.

Also, we will be holding our annual spring fundraising raffle next month and are actively seeking donations to be raffled off.  If you can help, email topsailev "at"

The kids loved the car!

David shows off the battery packs in the frunk.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Topsail EV on TV

Jayne Dees from WWAY TV 3 visited the EV Garage today to report on our program and our trip to the EV Challenge.  Several students and Mr. Jeffcoat spent their lunch hour showing her around the shop and sharing the experience and excitement of the program.  To watch the video, click here.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

10 Time Champions!

We competed in the EV Challenge this weekend (April 12-14), winning First Place Overall for the 10th consecutive year. The car finished first place overall, and the truck won second place overall.  Also, Steve Garrett was named the new Executive Director of the EV Challenge.

Detailed Results are as follows:
1st Place Overall, 1991 Toyota MR2
2nd Place Overall, 2001 Ford Ranger
1st Place, Modifided Class
1st Place, Truck Class
1st Place, School Initiative
1st Place, Troubleshooting
1st Place, Jeopardy, Truck Team
2nd Place, Jeopardy, Car Team
1st Place, Oral Presentation, Car team
2nd Place, Oral Presentation, Truck Team
1st Place, Vehicle Design, Modified Class
2nd Place, Vehicle Design, Truck Class
1st Place, Autocross, Truck Class
2nd Place, Autocross, Modified Class
1st Place, Range, Modified Class
1st Place, Range, Truck Class
2nd Place, Acceleration, Truck Class
3rd Place, Acceleration, Modified Class

A VERY special thanks to Ron Latronico and Kenny Sessions for towing our vehicles to the event!
That's a BIG trophy!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Coupler, Battery Boxes, and Charger

The past two weeks have been very busy in the EV shop, as we are working on all three vehicles at the same time.  We still have much to do, but are on track to finish in time for the EV Challenge next month.

The coupler to mate the electric motor with the transmission has been machined by Mr. Sholar at Cape Fear Community College.  The next step is to install the motor.
The new coupler
Thank-you cake.
Also, the battery boxes and heaters are being installed in the Volkswagen.  Next, we will install the cells and wire everything up.
Bolting in the rear battery box.

Matt wiring the battery heaters.
With the Ranger, we have mounted the new charger.  It will be back on the road as soon as the controller is repaired.
Brady securing the charger.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

New display in the car

The MR2 got a new touchscreen display that shows real-time information about the battery pack.  The information can also be sent by Bluetooth to any Android device with the Torque application.
New touchscreen!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

On the road again!

The battery transplant is now complete and the MR2 is back on the road, thanks to seven long hours of work on Saturday by some dedicated students.  Re-wiring the Orion BMS took a lot of time and patience (and a call to their ever-helpful customer support line), but it is now working to equalize our new battery pack.  There are still some final details to attend to, but now our attention can shift to the Volkswagen and preparing for the EV challenge.  Check out the pictures of our progress.

Drilling out holes for the battery straps.

The front box, ready to go back in!

Moving the bug out of the way, so the MR2 can get on the lift.
Since the new cells are smaller, we need new holes for the battery cables.

The back box is almost finished...

Everything is in place up front.