Highgate School pupils build electric car to compete in Formula E race

Schoolchildren who are building an eco-friendly car from scratch are to compete in the schools series of the electric equivalent of Formula One.

Six pupils studying for a GCSE in design technology and engineering at Highgate School in North Road, Highgate, are working hard during their lunch breaks and after school to build a fully-functioning electric car.

Once it is finished next month, they will compete in the Formula E’s School Series Championship in Battersea on June 27, a branch of the official Formula E series.

Andy Thomson, director of design technology and engineering, said: “Already the students are using the techniques and skills that they have picked up and are bringing them into their curriculum studies. It’s been a great project for that.” He added: “I’ve had zero input into the vehicle. I’m very proud of them.”

The Highgate School team is one of only 10 in London to take part in the international championship, and the only independent school.

All teams signed up for the race received a free kit containing all the machinery needed to build a mini-electric race car, which one pupil will drive on the full-size FE track in Battersea Park.

The fastest driver in a practise race next month will be chosen by Mr Thomson to be the driver for the official FE race.

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The team is made up of pupils Rory McKinnon, 15; Jake Portner, 15; Emmanuel Chryssanthopoulos, 15; Ashley Cluer, 14; Tanya Sitnikova, 15; and Hannah Murphy, 15.

The FIA Formula E Championship was founded in 2012 and is the highest class of competition for electrically-powered race cars.

The school series runs for five races and takes place in cities across the globe, including Miami and Buenos Aires.

It was designed to promote sustainable engineering in schools.