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Cambridge Students Unveil New Solar Car For World Solar Challenge

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A team of Cambridge University students is set to unveil its new solar-powered car as part of a program that highlights the potentials of electric-powered vehicles.

The Cambridge University Eco-Racing Team (CUER) has been into building, designing and racing eco-vehicles since 2007 and the 60 student-team will unveil its latest car on Monday, July 13.

The team hopes that its newest solar-powered car dubbed Evolution will perform well when it participates in the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge. The biennial solar-powered car race attracts teams from companies and universities worldwide.

CUER's 2013 attempt at the event was a disappointment following a crash during the pre-race testing. The incident raised questions over the stability of the car. Members of the team, however, hope that these issues have already been overcome as they believe that their newest car design will work better than its predecessor.

"By designing a car to run on solar power alone, CUER is driving the step changes in vehicle efficiency and new technologies for a low-carbon future," said Scott Stevens, from BNY Mellon, one of the firms that support CUER. "Their passion for innovation in clean technology is truly awe-inspiring."

The new car does not only demonstrate the potentials of electric vehicles, it also showcases the sustainable engineering applied in projects like this, which can provide inspiration to future mainstream eco-vehicles.

CUER program director Aurelia Hibbert said that they have made a car that they hope can complete the 3,000 km race, which will be participated in by 50 cars and will take place in October later this year.  

"We believe this is the best position the CUER team has ever been in," said Aurelia. "We've forged closer relationships with our manufacturing partners and built a car that we hope can complete the full 3,000km. That would put us in the top 15 teams in the race."

Weighing 180kg, Evolution gets energy through a solar panel measuring 2.36 meters. The car is capable of running up to speeds of 110 km per hour. CUER's technical chief Simon Schofield said that an important factor in Evolution's development is its increased stability saying that the car has been built to a higher standard compared with before.

He added that they had the chance to test the car for one year before having it compete in the race so they are more confidence with the design of Evolution.

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