Durban – Eight teams, four races, no combustion engines and one winner.
These are the stakes at this year’s eco-vehicle race at the University of Free State’s Bloemfontein Campus on Saturday.
Since 2018, UFS has been hosting the race to raise awareness about renewable resources and how they are critical if humanity wants to live sustainably in the future.
According to the university, the race has created an interdisciplinary experience, with participating students working together to build eco-vehicles and creative pit stops.
The race is the final part of a 9-month programme which harnesses students’ innovation skills and encourages them to think about sustainable energy.
Teams will have to build an electric vehicle with solar-charging stations.
“Our students’ ingenuity and endurance are showcased to the public and tested on the track day,” UFS said.
This year’s leg will take place at the Odeion School of Music and will also be livestreamed on the UFS social media platforms.
Besides being arguably one of the most fun experiences of their tertiary education journey, Teddy Sibiya, of the university’s student affairs department, said the eco-vehicle project helped students understand their role in protecting the environment.
“The eco-vehicle project helps students understand how their decisions and actions affect the environment, and further employs students to build their knowledge and skills in order for them to address and combat complex environmental issues, while taking sufficient action to maintain its healthy state and secure it for the future,” he said.
“Eight teams will compete in four races where precision, efficiency, and patience will be tested.”
Sibiya hopes the lessons learnt during the programme will give students an edge in future work and business opportunities.