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UVA Solar Car Team Finishes Designs for Solar Car

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The team was launched in Fall 2015. The team was launched in Fall 2015.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) -

The University of Virginia solar car team finished designs for the school's first sun-powered car since 2001 on Sunday.

The team was relaunched in the fall of 2015 and consisted of six people who didn't exactly know what a solar car was. Now, the only solar car team in Virginia is close to finishing part of the body of their car. 

“We’re actually on the verge of completing our aeroshell,” said Arslan Aziz, a third-year biomedical engineer who is also president of the club. “That’s the part of the car that goes around the whole body and serves as a skin to make the car more efficient as it goes through the air."

But the last year hasn't come without a few road bumps.

"Last spring, we actually found out that we had actually designed a completely three wheel vehicle and we found out there was a regulation change and three wheel vehicles were no longer allowed so we had to completely redesign the car to four wheels," said Jack Zelman, a third-year mechanical engineer and mechanical lead on the team. 

Sustainability companies in the Charlottesville area, like APEX Clean Energy and Sun Tribe Solar, have offered up advice and sponsorship dollars to aid in the group's progress.

The student-led team will spend most of the summer constructing the car's mechanical and electrical systems, but says a finished product isn't the main focus. 

“Our goal is to build skills within the team to inspire young engineers and to actually create future leaders in the fields of sustainability and engineering who can go on and make actual innovative changes," said Aziz.

The team is excited for the future and says people will be able to see the extent of its work soon.

Team members will be in Charlottesville on and off all summer to work on the car. They say they’re excited to recruit new members this fall.