An electric car designed by engineering students from the University of Canterbury has won a prestigious design award at the Asian leg of the Shell Eco-Marathon in Singapore.
The team, dubbed the EnduroKiwis, competed with hundreds of other students to design, build and drive the most energy-efficient car with the primary goal of lasting the longest on as little fuel as possible.
In what the University of Canterbury describes as a world first, the team produced an electric vehicle made entirely from thermoformed plastic sheets, including the chassis and outer panels.
University of Canterbury faculty adviser Bruce Robertson says judges described the car's build quality as the best they have ever seen.
Sadly for the Kiwis, the car broke down near the end of the final of the Shell Drivers World Championship efficiency race when third place was looking likely.
That blow was dulled soon after, however, with the team's car winning the design award.
"The EnduroKiwis team won for producing a car that brought fresh thinking about recyclability to the competition," according to the judges’ citation.
Every year, Shell Eco-marathon sees about 5000 students participate worldwide.
The team, which arrives back this afternoon, received $3000 for their efforts.