Electric car costs just €1 for Dublin to Galway trip
An electric car that can be driven from Dublin to Galway for less than €1 will represent Ireland at the Shell Eco-Marathon Europe event next month.
The car, designed by students at NUI Galway, is 30 times more fuel-efficient than a diesel Volkswagen Golf with a 1.6-litre engine.
Known as the Geec (Galway energy efficient car), it can travel 60km on only one kilowatt hour.
The car is powered by a large lithium battery, a scaled-up version of those in mobile phones, said Dr Rory Monaghan, Programme Director of Energy Systems Engineering at the university.
"It's vastly more fuel-efficient than any other car on the road, but we still have some work to do in becoming really competitive," he added.
This is the first time Ireland has been represented at the event, which will see cars from all over Europe compete.
The Geec will undergo two days of inspections before it can get the all-clear to race.
"If it doesn't pass, it's not allowed to race. One third of teams who go don't get to race - the car must be safe and reliable," said Dr Monaghan.
If cleared, the Geec will get 10 attempts around a track to achieve the highest efficiency drive. It will be travelling at an average of 30kph, and a measure of the car's energy will be taken before and after to calculate usage.
Students are already working on next year's entry, testing lightweight composite materials to reduce the car's weight.