Students Upcycle Old Diesel Vehicle to an Electric Car of the Future

Students at Matthew Flinders Anglican College on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland are upcycling an old diesel Series 3 Land Rover into an electric car of the future.

The Flinders school project is the first of its kind in Australia.

Flinders was invited onto ABC Radio to share more about the project. You can listen via this link (fast forward to 1 hour, 7 minutes)

Students are aiming to play their part in planning for environmentally sustainable transport options in the future.

People who have an interest in car conversion are invited to join the Flinders project team, and sponsors are also required.

The electric car is emerging as a viable option for individuals and communities with the desire to reduce their carbon footprint in the wake of climate change and increasing oil prices.

Nine Year 11 students and five Year 10 students at Flinders have begun working with teachers and mentors to upcycle the Land Rover as part of their Senior Industrial Technology Skills curriculum.

The plan is to remove the car’s engine and replace it with an electric motor and batteries that can be re-charged from the College’s own solar panels without the need to fill up with diesel.

Principal Stuart Meade said the ambitious project presented a rich learning opportunity for students and a chance for the College community and the wider community to connect.

“Giving this tired old Land Rover a new lease on life is going to be great fun and has immense learning potential for our students,” Stuart said.

“There is also the opportunity to link with businesses and community groups who want to be involved in a creative, sustainable and innovative hands-on project,” he said.

“Our students are already enjoying a mentoring partnership with representatives from local Sunshine Coast business, British Off Road who visited to help brainstorm and plan the way forward.

“We recognise value in this sort of real-world project.

"It enables our students at Flinders to have ownership over their learning and to employ 21st century skills such as creativity, collaboration and critical thinking.”

Flinders Secondary Design and Technologies teacher, Mr Mike King said there was a real buzz during the car conversion lessons.

“Students are keen to work to a high standard and learn about vehicle restoration processes,” Mike said.

“It is early days but it is exciting to see the students working effectively together, always engaged and eager to show pride in their work.”

With a focus on automotive skills, the project will form part of the students’ Unit 3 ATAR assessment for Year 12 next year.

The project scope is unlimited, and the College is calling for volunteers and sponsors to get involved.

Support is needed from people with skills in project management, marketing, finance, engineering, interior design, computer coding, graphic design, media and film, and more.

Electric vehicles have emerged and proved themselves as one of the best options to transition the world to a sustainable transport future.

Rapid advancements in battery technologies have made it possible for car manufacturers like TESLA to produce electric cars that don’t compromise on speed or quality.

However, electric vehicles are still unaffordable for many people and uptake of electric vehicles in Australia has been very low compared to other countries around the world.

Students at Flinders want to help provide solutions to this problem.


Gold Sponsor: Ken Mills Toyota. See the full story here.

Bronze Sponsor: ASI Solutions. "ASI Solutions was very excited when Flinders engaged us around the Electric Vehicle Project. This hands-on experience for students will be invaluable in their development as they prepare to enter the workforce."

Bronze Sponsor: BFX Furniture

To become a Sponsor: Please contact Director of Community Engagement, Ms Alison Walburn at 07) 5477 3200 or email:

Podcast: To listen to our Flinders podcast episode about the project, visit this link.

The photo caption is:
Top Row, Left to Right - Oliver Kilburn, Edward Hollett, Alex Johnson, Cal Sutton
Front Row, Let to right - Harry Urbahn, Josh Poulton, Bailey Squassoni

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