A team of four students from Cambridge University are set to undertake the first ever solar-powered journey from Land’s End to John O’Groats. The students, members of Cambridge University Eco Racing team, are making the trip to highlight environmental issues and sustainable technology.
The solar car, Affinity, has been given special dispensation to drive on public roads as a prototype vehicle. It is capable of speeds up to 60mph, and will use low rolling resistance Michelin M45 motorcycle tyres. The students will stop at schools along the route to display the vehicle and discuss environmental issues with school children and other members of the public.
Team captain Martin McBrien said: “Designing and building the car has been an exhilarating experience for all involved, with the many ups and downs, late nights, and breakthrough moments making the whole project worthwhile. Sustainable transportation is no longer an issue for the future, but for today. With oil at $135 a barrel, proving that travelling on free energy from the sun is possible brings real hope.”
After the successful completion of the journey, the students plan to build a more sophisticated solar-powered vehicle to compete in the 2009 World Solar Challenge. This event has attracted 30 teams from around the world, and involves an 1850 mile race from Darwin to Adelaide.