Open day will pit petrol against EV

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Petrol and electric vehicles (EV) will face off in timed races during an open day at Highlands Motorsport Park on September 9.

“The Hare and the Turtle” is a free one-day event jointly organised by Flip the Fleet and Otago EV Society.

The co-founder of Flip the Fleet, Henrik Moller, said the event would combine citizen science with “a bit of fun”.

The races would include speed tests of electric vehicles against high performance petrol engines.

“Highlands will bring out their Ferrari, and we will have a go against a Tesla roadster.”

The races would be a demo –”either side by side drag races if we have two Highlands drivers, or some timed drags with the cars side by side,” Mr Moller said.

“Motorheads – people who are interested in cars of all sorts – are an important part of the EV future, so we want to build links with people who just love cars and are interested in cars.

“We’ll be putting on some demonstrations of some petrol versus ‘acid’ – you might say it ‘battery acid’.”

The public would have an opportunity to test drive electric vehicles, and there would be talks from experts, he said.

“People could test their skill and speed of driving, so every time you knock over a cone you lose points.”

Citizen science tests would take place – “testing the internal resistance of the battery, which is part of the battery getting older”.

Internal resistance was a measure of how quickly a battery could take up power, and how quickly it regenerated as the car slowed down, Mr Moller said.

“That affects how quickly you can charge a battery at home, and how hot a battery gets when you charge it.”

Regenerative braking would also be tested, he said.

“When you slow down in an electric vehicle, unlike a conventional vehicle some of the energy and momentum is converted back into electricity and it tops up the battery.”

But the main aim was “not science, it’s fun”.

“We want to build links with the petrol vehicle community, because they are just as important as the people who are taking up EVs.”

The Hare and the Turtle

Free open day

Highlands Motorsport Park

Corner SH6 and Sandflat Rd, Cromwell

September 9, 9am-2pm