EV rally begins Friday

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 31, 2007

CREEKSVILLE – The Northampton East Automotive Team (NEAT) is gearing up for an Electric Vehicle Rally.

The two-day event will be held Friday and Saturday at the Tri-County Airport located on NC 561 between Ahoskie and Rich Square.

“It should be a good time,” said Danny Johnson, the instructor for the class at Northampton County High School-East (NCHS-East).

While Johnson provides supervision and guidance in the class, it’s the students that complete the modifications and drive the car for competition. They also work on finding rallies to run their vehicle.

Over its 14-year history, NEAT has found success, winning several competitions. In 2002 one of the team’s cars became the first electric vehicle to travel more than 113 miles and stay under its GVWR (gross vehicle weight rating).

NEAT will compete against seven other teams from around the state and from West Virginia on the runway of the airport using an electric vehicle they’ve not only worked on, but at times funded.

“Some of the kids have spent money out of their own pockets,” said Johnson.

Johnson added among the many competitions taking place will be the Autocross, where the students must weave their cars around an obstacle course, and a Range Event in which the speed of the cars are increased with each lap and the last vehicle running will win.

Students will also compete in a trouble shooting competition where they must find the source of a problem on a circuit board utilizing diagnostic equipment.

Demonstrations and presentations from local businesses, organizations and race car drivers will also be featured in the event.

The rally is open to the public and free to attend. Donations to NEAT are welcomed.

The schedule for the rally is as follows and is subject to change:


9 a.m. – Registration and inspection

10:30 a.m. – Autocross course

Lunch break

1:15 p.m. – Pit Crew Challenge (a favorite of the students)

2:45 p.m. – Acceleration Event


9 a.m. – Trouble shooting

10 a.m. – Range event

11 a.m. – Trophy Ceremony