Evan Maynard lives and breathes cars. According to his grandmother, his first words weren’t “mama” or “dada,” but “Lamborghini” and “Ferrari.” From the time he was an infant, he had a collection of Hot Wheels cars that grew exponentially, evolving to remote control cars and 1:18th scale diecast model cars.
He eventually graduated to gas powered vehicles and four wheelers. Two years ago, Evan risked his savings account on a project racecar.
A Lovett School graduate, Evan was accomplished in all areas of study, but was admittedly drawn to math and science. Much like his interest in how automobiles operated and performed, Evan says he was intrigued by the discoveries math and science uncovered. He was also active in technical theater, and that experience complimented his creative nature.
Last spring, all of Evan’s passions and energy were harnessed in the planning and execution of his senior project. The assignment was to encourage and empower students to identify an area of interest, and pursue an educational opportunity outside of the walls of the school. Evan followed his dream of learning more about the design and mechanics of cars, and he chose to build a solar-powered golf cart.
“Making an impact on the environment in general was my main goal with this project; however I chose this specific project because it completely encompassed all of my interests,” Evan said.
To get started with his project, Evan had to find a suitable golf cart. He chose to retrofit an existing cart at Lovett and identified his main objective as “gaining the attention of the masses,” much like what Tesla did in the ground-breaking creation of their cars.
He says he knew he wanted to make something “innovative and eye-catching” in order to grab people’s attention and draw them in. Once people flocked to the design, they would realize the importance of the power source and be left with the “lasting impression of solar power.”
Ultimately, he hoped to convey a positive view of renewable energy that would make people think about alternative energy sources when shopping for cars.
Evan says there were many bumps in the road to creating his solar-powered golf cart. From extensive reconditioning of the aging cart to multiple areas of bodywork, Evan chose to return the cart to “like-new” condition and then begin his retrofit. He says the long hours and exhaustive work wore him down at times, and he often reminded himself of the first thought he had of the golf cart’s potential – “complex graphics, great bodywork, and a 100 percent solar-powered battery bank.”
Ultimately, Evan successfully created his vision. His golf cart was exactly what he set out to build – a vehicle powered 100 percent by renewable energy. He said he worked slowly and meticulously to make every part of the golf cart as good as it could be.
To learn more about the project, visit Evan’s website: http://wordpress.lovett.org/evanmaynard/.
Evan is a freshman at Auburn University, with a declared mechanical engineering major. He plans to pursue an automotive engineering minor in his junior year. He says he hopes to “broaden his understanding of renewable energy, the mechanics and electronics of vehicles, and the customization of vehicles.”
This article was prepared by Claire Curran, a student at The Galloway School.