Yale Students To Unveil Solar-powered Car for Long-distance Races

Yale University students will unveil the latest prototype of a solar-powered electric vehicle they have designed and constructed during the past year at 12:15 p.m. Thursday, April 23, on Beinecke Plaza, Wall and College streets. They also will be showing last year’s solar car, dubbed Lux Aeterna (“Eternal Light”), which finished in first place among rookie teams and ninth out of 36 finishers overall in Sunrayce ‘97, a 1250-mile, intercollegiate trek from Indianapolis to Colorado Springs last June.

A team of about 30 undergraduate students majoring in engineering, geology, political science and other disciplines have worked on this year’s improved, lighter-weight prototype, which they call “Lux Perpetua” (“Perpetual Light”). The car will be Yale’s entry in Sunrayce ‘99 and may also compete in the World Solar Challenge in Australia in the fall of 1999. The events challenge students to organize a team to build and race a road-worthy, solar-powered automobile.

“Team Lux is back, tearing up New Haven asphalt with its ideas and enthusiasm,” says Yale junior Alexander Selkirk, project director. “The team has been restructured into three separate engineering groups –frame, body and electrical systems – each headed by a group leader. We’ve made a huge effort to soup up the logistics end of the team with the addition of both a dedicated account manager and business manager.”

Team Lux’s entire budget comes from corporate and private sponsors, as well as from various Yale departments and organizations. So far, the team has gathered more than $15,000 in cash and more than $40,000 in in-kind donations. Fundraising efforts are now focused on covering summer expenses for students to test the new prototype and for race expenses next year. For sponsorship information, call the team directors at (203) 432-1175.

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