High school teams kickoff Power Drive Saturday with the Big Red Invitational

April 1, 2013

Columbus, Neb. – High school teams in Nebraska and neighboring states will be putting the pedal to the metal beginning this Saturday for five straight weekends, eventually culminating in the Power Drive Championships the first weekend of May. This annual competition is sponsored by the Omaha Public Power District and the Nebraska Public Power District.

The kickoff competition begins this Saturday with the Big Red Invitational to be held on the East Campus at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln. Competition begins at 11:30 a.m. and will conclude at 2 p.m. with the awards presentation. Similar competitions will be held in Hastings April 13; in Grand Island April 20 with the Drive Safe Challenge; and April 27 in West Point with the Cumming County Open.

Werner Park in LaVista will host the Power Drive Championships on Saturday, May 4.

The Power Drive program gives high school students hands-on experience building a safe, energy-efficient electric vehicle. More than 50 teams have designed and built electric-powered vehicles during the school year. After building their vehicles, student drivers test their creations against other teams in several categories: braking ability, endurance, maneuverability and overall design/construction.

Through Power Drive, student participants learn:

  • practical application of math and science skills;
  • automotive design, engineering and construction;
  • industrial, electrical and mechanical skills;
  • electric vehicle history and current technology; and
  • teamwork, problem solving and fun.

Omaha Public Power District (OPPD) began offering the Power Drive program to high schools in its service territory in 1998. Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) became a partner in 1999 and began encouraging schools in the central and western parts of the state to participate. In addition to high schools, several Nebraska colleges have developed Power Drive teams who compete in the Exhibition Class. Programs similar to Power Drive are currently operating in 28 states.

The complete 2013 Power Drive Schedule is as follows:

Saturday, April 6 – Big Red Invitational, East Campus – University of Nebraska, Lincoln – Competition begins at 11:30 a.m. with awards at 2 p.m.
Saturday, April 13 – Hastings, Motorsports Park, Hastings – Competition begins at 10:30 a.m. with awards at 1:30 p.m.
Saturday, April 20 – Drive Safe Challenge, Law Enforcement Training Center, Grand Island. Competition starts at 11:30 a.m. with the awards presentation at 2 p.m.
Saturday, April 27 – Cuming County Open, Cuming County Fairgrounds, West Point. Competition begins at 10 a.m. and awards at 2 p.m.
Saturday, May 4 – Power Drive Championships, Werner Park, LaVista. Three heats of competition begin at 10 a.m. with the awards presentation at 2 p.m.

A list of Power Drive participating schools can be found at http://www.oppd.com/AboutUs/PowerDrive/Teams/index.htm.