A group of Oxford University engineers recently launched a battery-powered electric car, created for an international competition to build energy-efficient vehicles.

It was entered into the European leg of the Shell Eco-marathon 2012 in Rotterdam yesterday, competing against 20 other teams in the prototype battery electric vehicle class.

The goal of the Eco-marathon is to minimise the energy used to complete the 16.3km (10.1m) street course. Last year, one car travelled 842.5 km on 1 kWh of electricity. Oxford Martin School’s website describes this as ‘approximately equivalent to driving from London to Aberdeen on the energy used to do a large load of washing in an A+++ certified appliance.’

On 8th May 2012, PEGGIE was revealed to public in a press launch held in Begbroke Science Park, Oxford. At the launch, the team members gave a public demonstration in assembling the car, after which driver Lucy Alexandra Mahony demonstrated the car in action.

When asked what the team hoped to achieve in the wider world through this project, Dr Bishop replied, “The University of Oxford does not have a long history of participating in eco-vehicle competitions. The motivation of entering PEGGIE is to provide a real-world application for our research. It challenges us to move beyond the ideal conditions in the lab or on the computer to design and build a robust vehicle. Other learned skills include team work and systems thinking.”

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