Twenty electric cars race for victory Saturday at Five Flags Speedway

PENSACOLA, Fla. - Students will put their design and engineering skills to the test when they hit the track with battery-operated electric cars, giving them hands-on engineering and teamwork experience. 


The eighth annual Emerald Coast Electrathon Classic 120 race is Saturday, April 16 at Five Flags Speedway off Pine Forest Road in Pensacola. 


High school and Open class teams will be competing in the race with electric vehicles they have built either from a kit or from the ground up. Before drivers can race, their vehicles must pass a pre-race inspection to ensure they meet Electrathon America Rules, which includes safety features. 


The race is two separate 60-minute heats to see how many laps they can complete on a single battery charge. Brand new this year will be lap counting and timing recorded by the My Lap track monitoring system. Fans can download the Race Monitor app for $4.99 to follow the two races live.


Gulf Power Engineering Society, Five Flags Speedway, ASHRAE of Northwest Florida, IEEE of Northwest Florida and the Northwest Florida Clean Cities Coalition put on the event. 


“This event is a unique opportunity for local students,” said Natalie Smith, Gulf Power spokesperson. “They get to test and improve their skills in an exciting and competitive environment, which we hope will inspire them to continue down a path of STEM and engineering-related education.”


Thirteen teams, 20 cars and more than 140 team members have registered to compete. This year, two teams are running advanced Lithium batteries in at least one of their cars.


Schools participating from Northwest Florida include Pensacola High School, Tate High School, Crestview High School and Pensacola State College. Other teams are coming from Alabama, Georgia and south Florida. 


More than 30 volunteers from Gulf Power’s Engineering Society, ASHRAE and IEEE will help facilitate the event.


The first race starts at 10:30 a.m. and the second race at 1:30 p.m. Trophies for completing the most laps in the two races will be awarded to the top three teams in each class, plus for the overall winner. 

The event is free for the public to attend and the track will open at 9 a.m. The infield will be open at noon during the break between races and after the last race for the public to view the vehicles, visit the teams and be a part of the awards ceremony.


Go to for more information including videos, sponsors and the day’s schedule.




Gulf Power is an investor-owned electric utility with all of its common stock owned by Atlanta-based Southern Company. Gulf Power serves more than 447,000 customers in eight counties throughout Northwest Florida. The company’s mission is to safely provide exceptional customer value by delivering reliable, affordable and environmentally responsible electricity while strengthening our communities. Visit online at or on the company’s Facebook page. News information can be found at


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