It’s the quietest, most electrifying car race you’ll ever witness—it’s the 3rd Annual Alamo City Electrathon (ACE) Race. Taking place on May 23 at Traders Village on the southside of San Antonio, the competition challenges high school engineering teams to design and build an electric vehicle. Made possible by dedicated sponsors, including CPS Energy, the competition awards the vehicles that can complete the most laps around the track in two 60-minute heats. It’s the perfect combination of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), creativity and competition.
“CPS Energy is incredibly proud to be a part of this event. It brings together a lot of aspects of our current strategy with respect to putting People First with our community and employees,” said Rudy Garza, Senior Vice President of Distribution Services & Operation. “When you mix student achievement and education with STEM programs that are necessary to build a 21st century workforce to support our companies and our jobs here in San Antonio, then you sprinkle on top of that the idea of electrification and electric vehicles, this event is right in line with objectives that we are focused on.”
The Alamo City Electrathon is one of twelve sanctioned events across the country through Electrathon America. To organizers and sponsors that means the sky is the limit. In its first year the competition had five teams compete, with 12 teams the second year. This year, the event welcomed 17 teams representing school districts from the greater San Antonio area. Being that its roots are in the southside of San Antonio, the majority of the teams are from the area.
“It was a tough journey, but we are finally here and hopefully we win,” said Isaac Gutierrez, 9th grader at Southwest Legacy High School, who earned the opportunity to drive in the competition. “I was excited to start. It is what drives me to do engineering here at Southwest Legacy.”
As sponsors of the event, CPS Energy also had volunteers taking part. Harold Lambert, Journeyman Mechanic and Cedric Hudson, Automotive Serviceman, served as electrical inspectors for all the vehicles. Among other things, the guys checked the throttle and wired connections to make sure they were tight and confirmed emergency cut-offs inside and outside the vehicle. These inspections are essential to keeping the students safe while operating the vehicles.
Even with how competitive the teams are with each other, the students focused on being safe and promoting good sportsmanship. Because whether they win or lose, all students realize that days like these are moments they will remember for a lifetime.