Enquirer Herald

Students get look at battery powered cars

CLOVER -- Students at Clover High School recently got a glimpse of the future when representatives from Duke Energy came to the school for a presentation on battery powered cars.

Alternative energy is a hot topic and battery power, along with other alternative fuel sources, may be what our society relies on in the not-to-distant future.

Representatives from Duke Energy brought two Toyota Prius cars with battery packs. Each pack costs $10,000 and lasts for approximately 40 miles. Once the battery is depleted, the engine switches over to gas power. Duke Energy predicts that the battery powered car gets about 100 miles per gallon in city driving.

"I told the kids welcome to your driving future," said ATC director Robert Johnson. "This was their chance to see it, feel it, and experience it hands on."

The presentation was made to students is physics, physical science, environmental science, AP Chemistry, pre-engineering, automotive mechanics, and building construction classes.

James Rose, a CHS sophomore, was interested in the idea of battery power.

"I liked how much better the gas mileage is. I guess I could see myself driving something like this."

James will receive his license in April.

After school, the Clover High School Bi-Sci-Chem Club and Engineering Club enjoyed a special presentation on the cars. Topics in the presentation included a comparison of the battery/engine of electric and standard combustion cars, building construction considerations for houses of the future and electric cars, electrical load management in cities of the future using more electric vehicles, and energy efficiency, environmental impact, and carbon footprint of electric and standard combustion cars.

Duke Energy has presented the battery powered cars at auto shows and sporting events, but their presentation at Clover High was their first school presentation. The students listened to a brief presentation on the car and its benefits. After the presentation, students were able to get a first hand look at the technology on the two cars.

Johnson was very appreciative of Duke Energy.

"I am very thankful they came to show this to our kids," he said. "The kids were so receptive and engaged in the presentation, I hope we didn't spoil them."