Kent State Tuscarawas Engineering Technology Students Unveil Electric Powered ATV

Kent State University at Tuscarawas engineering technology students collaborated on their capstone project during the spring semester and unveiled an electric powered ATV on finals night this week. A class of five students from electrical/electronics engineering technology and mechanical engineering technology participated in the process from the ground up – taking a gas-powered vehicle and converting it to one that runs on electric power.

The capstone project was started in January 2020 but shuttered after the frame was stripped in March due to COVID-19 restrictions. This spring’s class finished modifying the frame and completed the machine, spending over 350 hours working on the project.

The capstone course was taught by David Schlosser, adjunct engineering technology instructor and included the following students: Alex Denney, Sam Gross, Michael Leshon, John Meek and Chris Miller.

“Some of the tasks that were covered included team building, project management, creative problem solving, as well as fabrication,” said Schlosser. “The students utilized a 3hp electric motor and controller from a golf cart and modified them to fit within the confines for the bike frame. A new wire harness was designed and built, 3D components were printed for instrument mounting, engine mount and battery tray were designed and fabricated from scratch, as well as some precision machine work.” 

Using teamwork and dedication, these students took a pile of parts and created a working piece of machinery. During the process, students gained real-world experience that will prepare them for challenges after graduation. Students also learned valuable lessons in team building, working within a budget and time constraints.

“The hands-on experience of building the wiring harness was the most valuable for me,” said Sam Gross, a sophomore in electrical/electronics engineering technology.

For Alex Denney, a sophomore mechanical engineering technology student, the knowledge and abilities gained throughout the project were most important.

“I learned a lot and gained skills that I will forever keep,” he said.

One of the skills the group focused on was communication. For the first time, the class created a project text group that provided real time communication and project updates among members. Schlosser said this proved to be a very effective means of communication.

The project had a price tag of about $1,700 and couldn’t have been completed without the help of community businesses. Tusco Display welded the engine mount for the motor; Denney Plastics donated the motor face plate and beating mount; Allied Engineering and Machine Co. machined the motor shaft; FoxFury Lighting provided two high intensity RUGO lights; Tusky Valley High School printed instrumentation mounting brackets; and ST-Engineering Hackney Kidron provided aluminum and stainless-steel material. Technical support and components were  donated or provided at reduced cost by Willendale Golf Carts and Action Extreme Sports. The Kent State Tuscarawas Makerspace provided the labels.

“We appreciate the support of these companies that helped make this project a success,” said Schlosser. 

So, what happens to the electric-powered ATV now? According to Paul Dykshoorn, engineering technology program director, it will be housed on campus and serve as inspiration to future engineering technology students.

To learn more about the engineering technology programs at Kent State Tuscarawas, visit https://www.kent.edu/tusc/engtech.

POSTED: Thursday, May 13, 2021 - 2:25pm
UPDATED: Monday, May 17, 2021 - 9:09am
WRITTEN BY:
Kent State Tuscarawas