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SUNY Broome engineering students win competition with electric car

BINGHAMTON, N.Y. - Engineering students at SUNY Broome took home the checkered flag at Watkins Glen using an electric vehicle.

The Institute of Electrical & Electronic Engineers Club, or IEEE took home two prizes at the Toyota Green Grand Prix.

Held at Watkins Glen International Raceway, the competition features road-legal cars running on energy-efficient fuel such as hybrids, fully-electric cars along with gas and diesel powered vehicles.

The competition features two events, one to measure endurance and another tabulating driver precision with a running clock.

The van used in the race was an old SUNY Broome maintenance vehicle, modified by the IEEE club, in which they converted the lead acid batteries to lithium ion batteries

A 12-volt battery powers the van, while a solar panel on the roof acts as an alternator and charges the batteries.

The team had the best time in the precision driving competition, where participants navigate the vehicle through a course of cones.

Student Matthew Odell says it was a team effort that will leave a lasting impression.

"We all had something to contribute to the van regarding how it is today. That will continue on for future classes to come," said Odell.

The team also received the award for Most Innovative Design.

Local businesses such as Raymond and BAE donated parts and batteries

The project will continue with new students once the current ones graduate and planned vehicle improvements include replacing the mirrors with cameras along with designing a dashboard display.

You can see the car and ask the team questions tomorrow from 10 to 1 at the SUNY Broome Ice Center during an open house.

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