09 May 2022 | Story Lunga Luthuli
Eco-vehicles race
UFS students in high spirits taking part in the eco-vehicle race project on the Bloemfontein Campus.

Since 2018, the University of the Free State (UFS) has been hosting the eco-vehicle race project, which is driven by renewable energy and responds to the realities of living in an era where renewable resources are critical to leading a sustainable life.

Hosted annually by Kovsie ACT on the Bloemfontein Campus, the race has created an interdisciplinary experience, with participating students working together to build eco-vehicles and creative pit stops.

This year, the race will take place on 14 May 2022 at the Odeion School of Music, where students will compete in the energy efficiency race, speed race, obstacle course race, and the main event – the endurance race.

The event will also be streamed live on the UFS social media platforms for those who will not be able to make it to the campus.

Teddy Sibiya, Senior Assistant Officer in the Division of Student Affairs, said: “The eco-vehicle project helps students understand how their decisions and actions affect the environment, and further employs students to build their knowledge and skills in order for them to address and combat complex environmental issues, while taking sufficient action to maintain its healthy state and secure it for the future.”

By participating in the eco-vehicle project, students test their innovative skills development, enabling them to develop basic knowledge and skills on sustainable energy.

Sibiya said: “One hundred and thirty undergraduate students have enrolled in this co-curricular skills programme, which runs for nine months and culminates in the eco-vehicle race. This is where eight teams will compete in four races where precision, efficiency, and patience will be tested.”

In the past, 180 undergraduates received certificates specifying graduate attributes that were developed.

Sibiya trusts that the attributes developed through this programme “will position graduates more optimally for future work and business opportunities”.

“Through this project, participating students develop the necessary knowledge, skills, and values about green energy and sustainable energy resources. Students and staff from the Qwaqwa Campus and the South Campus are encouraged to come and witness this adrenalin-filled event,” said Sibiya.

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