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MSU students construct solar-powered car

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PHOTO COURTESY OF PEXELS.COM

MSU NEWS SERVICE

BOZEMAN — A solar-powered car designed and built by the Bridger Solar Team at Montana State University may usher in a new wave of emission-smart vehicle construction.

At roughly 14 feet long, the solar panel-cover vehicle contains 408 lithium ion batteries and is designed to reach speeds of 70 mph.

“This is about the lowest emissions car you can make,” said electrical engineering sophomore Scott Smith in a presentation at MSU’s Sustainabilibash on Thursday. “A cornerstone of our club is promoting environmental sustainability.”

Smith, who heads the electrical division of the project, said the car is almost ready to hit the road. Over the next couple weeks, the team will finish the electrical system and begin practicing for the Formula Sun Grand Prix, a three-day solar car race in Austin, Texas, this July.

The car can run for about 2.5 hours at 30-40 mph on a fully charged battery, Smith said. But because the solar panels generate electricity and recharge the battery while the car is running, it can carry a driver indefinitely while the sun is shining.

The Bridger Solar Team is raising money to fund its trip to the Formula Sun Grand Prix. Donations can be made at https://www.bridgersolarteam.com.

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