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1,500 students just competed in a first-ever race for sun-powered cars — and their handmade creations are unbelievable

"These are the future engineers and entrepreneurs of India."

Indian solar car rally

Photo Credit: iStock

More than 1,500 students in India were on the electric vehicle (EV) fast track this spring as part of the country's first solar car rally. 

The race — the Electric Solar Vehicle Championship 3000 —  was held by the Imperial Society of Innovative Engineers on April 19 at Galgotia University in Greater Noida.

It was an opportunity for India's brightest minds to showcase creations with the intention of pushing the limits of solar-powered EVs. In a country of 1.4 billion, the burgeoning EV market has room to grow, and inventions from the solar race could eventually end up on an EV in the U.S. 

"We aim to build society's interest in renewable energy and electric mobility, and generate skilled engineers and entrepreneurs," the race's organizers wrote on the society's website. 

The speedway, a route plotted through the regional highway system, was a scene of solar innovations as racers from universities across the country zoomed more than 43 miles on a single charge, covering more than 217 miles during the race, the society reported. All of the EVs were designed over the course of several months and made from scratch. 

Photos on the society's website show the seven EVs that passed inspection and were cleared to let the sun-powered rubber hit the road. They came in all shapes and sizes, some looking more like a boat than a car. Others were reminiscent of soap box derby cars with solar panels

"These are the future engineers and entrepreneurs of India. The event is an innovative approach for learning skill and development," Galgotias University CEO Dhruv Galgotia said to Saur Energy International Magazine.

VCET Solecthon, a team of student engineers, took home a heap of accolades, including champion, best acceleration, and best endurance, the race organizers posted on Facebook. 

"Our goal is to drive the world toward sustainable energy and renewable energy sources by creating technologically innovative product[s] … for making a greener tomorrow," team members wrote on their website. 

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