About evGrand Prix

evGrand Prix was started in 2009 at Purdue University.  Professor James Caruthers in Chemical Engineering was awarded a $6 million grant from the Department of Energy to expand electric vehicle education through a competitive racing event.   This was the beginning of collegiate electric karting.

The inaugural race took place in 2010 with universities coming from all over the country to participate.

The evGrandPrix race is held annually in the Spring at Purdue University’s iconic Grand Prix Track which has hosted the Purdue Grand Prix, the “Greatest Spectacle in College Racing

Each year, teams have pushed the technological capabilities of their karts further and further.  Similar to the early days of combustion engines, evGrand Prix allows for many different drive train combinations to be utilized.  Students are encouraged to research new technologies and implement them on their karts, whether it be new motors, high-powered batteries, or even cutting-edge telemetry systems.  This is, across the board, true engineering.

In 2015, Purdue decided to expand evGrand Prix’s goal of electric vehicle education into the high school classroom.  Purdue President Mitch Daniels introduced an initiative called MSTEM3 which focused on providing STEM-related projects to high schoolers in order to expand their technical skills.  And staying true to Indiana’s routes, these projects were to be focused on motorsports and racing. See more at purdue.edu/mstem3

With a less complex drive train and battery system, high schools quickly got involved in MSTEM3 and began racing in the high school evGrand Prix.  Teachers started using the provided labs and curriculum to incorporate the go-kart project into their classroom.  High school electric karting had officially began, and schools were loving it.

2022 marked the 12th year of the Purdue evGrandPrix. The program is primed for strong growth and will continue to provide exceptional learning experiences for High School and Collegiate students through their work on these amazing and extremely fun electric go-karts. If you’d like to learn more, please contact Todd Nelson (tnelson1@purdue.edu), Managing Director of Purdue Motorsports.