Some of the most innovative and state of the art vehicles have made their way to Binghamton for the annual, “Technology That Drives Us Show.” Solar powered cars, electric motorcycles and battery powered trucks were among some of the vehicles displayed to the public. Car lovers say their work is a valuable experience not only for themselves but for others as well.
Between 1920 and 1921, manufacturer Binghamton Electric built a small number of electric vehicle prototypes in the area.
More than 90 years later, Chuck Goodwin and his students at Union Endicott High School built an entirely electric, solar-powered car that won numerous competitions around the country.
“We’re just very proud that the car did what it did and we’re certainty proud of the students and all they we’re able to do in a coordinated fashion, because it required a heck of a lot of teamwork,” said Chuck Goodwin, Former Union-Endicott Technology Teacher.
B.A.E Systems also displayed one of the areas first hybrid Diesel-Electric trucks.
Many vehicle experts say transferring to more energy efficient vehicles will have a lasting, positive effect on the planet.
“As we clean up the grid, we’re going to clean up the transport grid at the same time and with the issues with getting foreign oil in the country, domestically produced power that can drive vehicles is going to be a bigger and bigger issue,” said Erik Leonard, Binghamton Resident.
And that doesn’t stop with cars.
Erik Leonard was able to create an all electric, battery powered motorcycle in just under a year.
He says there was nothing like the feeling of hearing it run for the first time.
“It was euphoric. I had a smile that wouldn’t go away for hours and a little bit eerie because you’re riding it and all you hear is tire noise,” said Leonard.
Many vehicle experts believe more manufacturers will begin to turn to more fully electric vehicles within the next few years.
Other vehicles on display included a firetruck from the 1920s and a bobsled used in the 2014 Olympics.