THE new Nissan LEAF has inspired a group of talented Welsh students to take on the challenge of creating cars using renewable energy.
Around 30 students aged between 12 and 13 years old got to see the British-built, 100% electric Nissan LEAF — named last week as What Car? Electric Vehicle of the Year 2018 — up close at the Eden Education Centre in Blaenau Gwent as part of their preparations for the Eden Innovation Energy Challenge.
The challenge — part of the BITC Business Class programme — sees five school teams from Caerphilly pair up with major businesses to create innovative ideas and projects. It is run by Careers Wales and gives young people the chance to excel in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subjects plus giving the students insights into the world of high-tech careers
Following the unveil of the new Nissan LEAF, which was provided by Newtown Motors in Cwmbran, the students made plenty of notes and then began the task of building their own cars with renewable, solar energy in mind. The winners were the team who created the most sustainable vehicle — and it was Blackwood Comprehensive School who took the title.
Peter Jones, founder of the Eden Education Centre, said: “The Eden Innovation Energy Challenge really pushed these students to think outside the box and what better inspiration to have than the Nissan LEAF, which has proved — brilliantly and consistently — how alternative energies can work on our roads. The students absolutely loved seeing the new car and certainly gained lots of inspiration, particularly from its energy-efficient design.”
Neil Williams, Sales Manager at Newtown Motors, said: “We were delighted to get involved in such an important and exciting educational challenge like this, and the timing of the new LEAFs release was absolutely perfect. It’s wonderful to see the LEAF inspire young people in this way — proving it is so much more than just a car.”