The youth of today will be the change of tomorrow–and they’ll also be the next generation of drivers. We need to rewrite the culture of cars, shifting the focus away from traditional combustion engine vehicles and on to electric vehicles. If electric cars are presented as a fun and conscientious decision, the next generation will be passionate about driving EV’s. Listen to the song Electric Car by They Might be Giants. While the lyrics and imagery may be idyllic, the song presents a simple message: to change the future, we need to use electric cars. Catchy songs with nice animations are a great way to expose young individuals to the idea of electric vehicles, but how can we better educate them on the subject?
One great idea is to let youth build an electric vehicle themselves. The Washington D.C EV Grand Prix took place last year at the National Harbor. Using 2 lead acid batteries, a chassis, and a shell, high school students competed to travel the farthest distance in the vehicles that they constructed as a team. Another example is MINDDRIVE, a program that teaches kids how to build electric cars from scratch. According to founder Steve Rees, “We’re asking ourselves what skills can we help give these kids to open their minds to even more opportunities.”
Although wonderful programs exist to teach youth about how to engineer and create electric vehicles, not many resources are available for them to learn about EV’s in general terms. If we want the next generation to drive EV’s, electric vehicle enthusiasts should create more materials to help kids learn about them. Kids will never get the chance to expand their minds if the resources aren’t made available. Maybe we need to start a clear and honest dialogue with our youth. They will be inherently our current problems, but that doesn’t mean that they won’t engineer some great solutions.