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AMES, Iowa - May 31, 2017 (Investorideas.com Newswire) Iowa State University's student-run solar car team, PrISUm, will soon complete the manufacturing phase of "Penumbra," the 14th solar car to be produced by the team since it was formed in 1990, and the world's first solar utility vehicle.
"As Penumbra takes shape, the future of innovation draws nearer," said Dylan Neal, project director for Penumbra. "We plan to set the standard for what it means to be on the forefront of innovation."
Once completed, Penumbra will function very similarly to today's average car. With top speeds of 70 miles per hour, the car will weigh approximately 850 pounds and will have the capacity to seat four people. The infotainment system within the car will be the most elaborate Team PrISUm has ever produced. Passengers will be able to listen to music, get directions and view information about other systems in the vehicle. The production of the car totals $750,000 in materials - machine time and cash - with around two-thirds of funding coming from sponsors. Donations start at $10 and can be made at prisum.org.
Penumbra's unveiling is set for June 2 in Ames. From there, Team PrISUm will take Penumbra on the SunRun, a three-week, 99-county tour across Iowa to educate and advocate for solar energy, while simultaneously preparing for the Bridgestone World Solar Car Challenge in Australia.
"SunRun is where we inspire youth to engage in creative endeavors, show them that anyone can accomplish what we have and show the world that Iowa State University is where innovation happens," said Smeet Mistry, SunRun Lead for Team PrISUm. "Iowans can find out more about the SunRun event closest to them on our website at prisum.org."
Following SunRun, Team PrISUm will look toward the big competition in Australia ¬- the Bridgestone World Solar Car Challenge. Team PrISUm will send 15 students in mid-September to prepare for the big race. The team will have from October 8 through October 15 to race across the entire continent, starting in the northern city of Darwin and traveling 1,864 miles to the southern city of Adelaide. Aside from the allotted stored energy, all cars must obtain 90 percent of their energy from the sun or recover the vehicle's kinetic energy. Having never participated in the World Solar Challenge, the team is putting forth all efforts to achieve a successful race.
PrISUm is a student-led organization founded in 1989 on a heritage of advanced technology, innovative design and a passion for achieving what others thought impossible. Over the past 25 years, PrISUm has developed 12 award-winning solar vehicles.
PrISUm took home its first victory in 2015 at the Formula Sun Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Américas in Austin, Texas. The team looks to build momentum by increasing sponsorship and attracting young talent before it departs for Australia.
It is PrISUm's mission to build a practical solar car that changes the paradigm of transportation. In doing so, the team strives to inspire future generations to pursue their passions through education. For additional information, visit www.prisum.org.
Philip Gates, Public Relations Director
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