EVolocity in partnership with New Zealand’s new energy centre, Ara Ake, is launching in Taranaki in 2021. Schools in this region will be supported by sponsors Ara Ake and Evnex, and learning partner Western Institute of Technology at Taranaki (WITT), to design, build and ultimately race their electric vehicles as part of the EVolocity high schools programme.
EVolocity Chief Executive Sarah Fitzgerald says: “The government funded national new energy centre Ara Ake is a fantastic partner for EVolocity. Their support further enhances our work in STEM education and the cleantech transition, and most importantly helps make our program accessible for young people in Taranaki.”
Ara Ake, formerly known as the National New Energy Development Centre, is dedicated to creating clean, affordable, renewable energy sources in New Zealand. The government has contributed $20 million over four years to support the centre in research into cutting edge energy technology, moving New Zealand away from reliance on fossil fuels. Taranaki is a key player in New Zealand’s oil and gas industry and Ara Ake forms part of the plan to transition this region into a leader in clean energy tech. Chief Executive Dr Cristiano Marantes sees Ara Ake (which means a pathway that leads onwards and upwards) becoming a hub that brings together people and ideas, while also linking them with like-minded innovators around the world.
Ara Ake project coordinator Caroline Gunn says of the partnership: “Ara Ake is delighted to welcome EVolocity in Taranaki. It is a wonderful opportunity for local school students to build their skills and confidence, whilst inspiring them to pursue a career path in engineering and teaching them about a low-emissions future.”
EVolocity’s program in partnership with Ara Ake and Western Institute of Technology at Taranaki (WITT), or Te Kura Matatini o Taranaki, will educate and provide local students with skills to develop new clean technologies and jobs for the region, supporting the government’s vision of creating high paying jobs in the region.
“WITT’s excited to be partnering with Evolocity and Ara Ake to bring this new initiative to Taranaki”, says Kyle Hall, Director of WITT’s School of Engineering, Energy & Infrastructure – NZIHT. “We’re working together to encourage our rangatahi to engage with STEM programmes while they’re still at school, giving them some really great options for tertiary study including energy, engineering, electrical and automotive – key industries across Taranaki and Aotearoa.”
Study pathways that will appeal to EVolocity students include WITT’s Diploma in Engineering (Level 6) and Bachelor of Engineering Technology (Level 7), as well as trades programmes in mechanical engineering, automotive engineering and electrical fields.
Sponsor Evnex is one of the top selling charging solutions in New Zealand and supports EV charging businesses across the world. Evnex’s strong sustainability focus makes it a relevant partner for EVolocity – aside from supporting the growth of emission free transport, the company produces no single use plastic packaging and supports carbon sequestration through native reforestation projects. Now they are supporting the next generation of EV innovators through the partnership.
“EVolocity is more than a STEM Program, we are developing future generations of engineers, technicians, technology innovators and entrepreneurs.” says Sarah Fitzgerald. “New Zealand needs a highly skilled workforce to deliver sustainable infrastructure and clean transportation. And EVolocity provides practical hands-on engineering learning as well as career pathways for young New Zealanders. Together with our partners and sponsors we are investing in our young people and in our country’s future.”