The competition will be in Houston April 14-17 and is an international contest for college and high school students to design and build the most fuel-efficient vehicles. Purdue has won the Eco-marathon’s solar car category the last three years, achieving the equivalent of 4,913 miles per gallon.
This year’s car, called Celeritas, will compete in the urban concept category. It must be designed for practical use on public roads and highways.
“It’s the team’s first four-wheel car in recent years and the first urban concept vehicle,” said Ted Pesyna, president of Purdue Solar Racing. “We’ve always focused on making vehicles that are optimized for efficiency – very small, slim vehicles that tend to look more like an airfoil than a conventional vehicle. Celeritas is different than any car we have every designed.”
About 50 undergraduate students are working on the project. The car will end up costing about $100,000 and relies on funding from sponsors. Major sponsors are Lockheed Martin Corp., Exelon Nuclear Corp., Tyco Electronics, Airtech, Purdue’s schools of Mechanical Engineering, Aeronautics and Astronautics, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Materials Engineering, Purdue Libraries and the Office of the Provost.