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MIT Unveils Faster, Meaner Solar Car

The MIT Solar Electric Vehicle Team is up to their old tricks again. They’ve just finished construction of the latest high-tech car, which is being unveilved on the MIT campus tomorrow.

According to an MIT news release, The new car, called Eleanor, is taller than earlier versions yet has exactly the same drag area — a measure of its wind resistance — as the team’s older one, “thanks to some very sophisticated aerodynamic design and wind-tunnel testing.”

Eleanor also features six square meters of monocrystalline silicon solar cells and improved electronic systems and design. And the car can run all day on a sunny day at a steady cruising speed of 55 mph. Eleanor will be competing in October in the World Solar Challenge race across Australia. In preparation, the team plans to drive the car across the United States over the summer.

The new vehicle is also equipped with wireless links so that the lead and chase vehicles during the race will be able to monitor every aspect of the car’s electrical performance in real time. Its batteries have enough energy, when fully charged, to get the car from Boston to New York City without need of sunlight.

Let’s get some green stimulus money to MIT immediately so that we can all start driving Eleanors as soon as possible!


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