Port Colborne, Ontario — Students at St. Anne Catholic High School in the Lakeshore region are the first in Canada to receive and utilize a Switch electric vehicle kit.
This learning tool allows students to assemble and disassemble a fully-functional three-wheeled vehicle powered by a 96-volt lithium-ion battery.
“Everything is open and exposed so that the students can see all of the components,” said Gianni Pizzuto, the automotive teacher at St. Anne.
“Electrical systems, battery cells, some diagnostics—all of that stuff.”
Students in Pizzuto’s automotive class will have a full semester to put the Switch vehicle together and eventually test it out in the school’s parking lot.
Once the semester has ended, the vehicle will be taken apart for the next group of students to use the following semester.
Equipped with a 108-hp motor, the Switch is capable of accelerating from zero to 95 km/h in six seconds—although Pizzuto notes that students will not be reaching top speeds when testing out the vehicle. The charge capacity of the vehicle’s battery limits its range to around 65 km as well.
“It’s more of a trainer,” Pizzuto said.
“But it will move. This can be registered and driven on the road.”
EV programming and testing is now a part of Pizzuto’s curriculum, along with basic automotive principles such as braking and steering systems and suspension.
About the new curriculum opportunities, Pizzuto pointed to the billions of dollars of investment in EV manufacturing planned for the Windsor-Essex region.
“Why not get our students ready for these jobs that are available to them in the future?”