Students are powering ahead with solar cars

Durham University Electric Motorsport (DUEM) team.
Durham University Electric Motorsport (DUEM) team.
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Durham University students are showcasing their latest solar powered car which can reach speeds of up to 70mph.

Visitors attending this week’s London Motor Show will expect to see some of the latest developments and trends that will shape the future of the car industry.

Durham University Electric Motorsport car which can reach speeds of 70mph on solar power alone.

Durham University Electric Motorsport car which can reach speeds of 70mph on solar power alone.

Among the 130 innovative vehicles on show will be DUSC2015, the latest car from Durham University Electric Motorsport (DUEM), which can reach speeds of 70mph on solar power alone.

DUEM’s engineering team will be the only university car maker presenting at the world renowned event which takes place from May 5-8 at Battersea Park.

Formed in 2002, the 50-strong DUEM team is the most established university electric car team in the UK. The engineering highlight of the car is its innovative and top secret in-wheel motor design, which is 98% efficient and powers the car up to speeds of 70mph.

DUEM have custom-designed and manufactured all components for the solar powered car, which was originally designed for the World Solar Challenge in October 2015, opting for a carbon-fibre design that reduced the weight of the car by a third to just 200kg.

Since returning from the challenge in Australia, the engineers have continued to make the car lighter and more efficient. The team has redesigned the whole electrical system of the car, moving to a lighter battery pack to improve performance and efficiency.

Tobias McBride, a second year economics student at Durham University and member of the team, said: "This is an incredibly exciting project to be involved with. What we are creating is an extraordinary opportunity to showcase the very latest technology, to globally educate about the importance of renewable technology in an environmentally conscious world and to inspire the next generation of those who dare to think differently."

DUEM team members will also exhibit at the Science Museum’s Antenna Live Event in July.