Eastern Electric Vehicle Club

2020 Physics Olympics

Electric Pickup Truck 2019-20                                                               Doug Macauley

                                                                                                                        Pennsbury High School



Build a fast electric truck that can haul the greatest mass for the longest distance (min 1m, max 5 meters).


Number of Cars:

Each school may enter up to 5 trucks in this event.



The truck must use ONE official motor (Pitsco motor 385 found at http://www.pitsco.com/Motor_385) powered by ONE OR TWO standard 9-volt batteries.
The truck must be activated by a switch which is pressed at a RIGHT ANGLE to the direction of motion of the car to activate it.
The truck must be student-built and not from a kit.
The truck must have exactly two axles, with as many wheels on each axle as the student wishes, but only ONE axle may be powered by the motor.
The truck must have a bed on the back for hauling the student chosen masses.
The truck must have a 3” x 5” index card mounted with the school name and student name(s) must be clearly written on the index card.
The car must not fall apart in any way from when it starts to when it crosses the 5-m line.
The car must operate autonomously once the switch is pressed, with no remote control of any kind.
LIGHTS—The truck must have working lights in the front of the car as well as on top to “light up the masses in the bed of the truck”. The light should be obviously seen and will be verified upon check in.



Commercial parts including gears or belt systems may be used, up to two gears or two pulleys connected by one belt.
Any lights may be used—LED lights are suggested
Any wheels may be used, provided they will not mar the gymnasium floor.  In other words, no studded tires, rough metal wheels, sandpaper, etc may be used for traction.  Questionable tires will not be allowed on the track at all.
Any axles and bearings may be used.

 The Race:

The track will be 2 meter wide and 5 meters long.  There will be a starting box at the “start” end of the track, 2 m x 1 m.  Four 1-kg mass and four .5 kg masses will be available at each track (two tracks will run simultaneously).  These masses will either be hexagonal masses or cylindrical masses found in typical mass sets.  Additionally, schools may provide their own 1 kg or 0.5 kg masses (up to 4 of each), but their mass will be verified by a scale and must be withing 5 g of marked mass. 

Each vehicle must start within the starting box (anywhere). Competitors will have 1 minute to place masses in it and start their car once they are called to the start.

Each run will be timed by 3 timers using stopwatches and an average time (t) will be recorded.  If a car stalls for 5 seconds before crossing the finish line, the time will be called (including the 5 seconds stall time) and the distance achieved (Dx) will be measured and used in the calculation.

Schools may run any number of cars, but each school will have a total of five runs.  School names will be drawn randomly to determine the race order.

 The Masses:

The student will select as few or as many of the masses (m) provided and place them on the truck(of mass M). 



Individual Score = ((2m+M) Dx)/t


(Note that there is a “multiplier” for the mass placed on the back of the truck

Team Score = Sum of the best 2 runs.

The school with the highest score will get 200 points, the school with the second highest score will get 190 points, etc.  Any school with no qualifying runs (but with existing cars) will get last place minus 10 points.  Any school with no cars will have zero points.

The EEVC Prize:

EEVC members will award a prize to the car that (a) exemplifies high standards of engineering and craftsmanship and (b) is entered in the EEVC competition and (c) completes the competition in the fastest half of the qualifying runs.

To enter the EEVC competition, the EEVC logo must be visible on the body of the truck.