A TEAM of students are setting off on a 3,000km drive across Australia in a solar powered car.

The Durham University Electric Motorsport Team (DUEM) is competing in the 2017 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge. The week-long journey from Darwin to Adelaide, in a car that goes up to 70mph and weighs 250kg, starts on Sunday.

Student Tobias McBride said: “This is the moment we have been building up to for a number of years. It’s the culmination of five years of research and design, innovation and collaboration .”

This is the third entry into this world-famous competition for the DUEM team, and they will be up against 45 teams from around the world racing across the harsh conditions of the Australian outback.

Dr David Sims-Williams, DUEM’s Faculty Advisor and Deputy Head of the Department of Engineering, Durham University, said: “It is great to see our students putting what they have learned into practice to tackle the key challenge of transport energy. The Durham University Solar Car points the way to the development of high-efficiency vehicles, whatever their power source.

“The solar car project brings together Durham’s commitments to world-changing research, education which enriches society and opportunities for unrivalled student experience. We are really proud of the leadership and teamwork demonstrated by our students in pursuing this endeavour, and we wish them every success in the 2017 World Solar Challenge.”