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Iran Builds First Solar Powered Car

Islamic Republic News Agency

Students of the mechanical engineering faculty of Tehran University and experts of Iran Khodro Industrial Group have designed and built the first-ever solar-powered automobile in the Middle East region known as `Ghazal'.

The designer and head of the Ghazal manufacturing team, Karen Abri-Nia, told reporters the car, powered by solar energy, was built at a budget of 1.2 billion rials over a six-month period.

He said the ground-breaking car, the production success of which can be attributed to the efforts of a nine-member group sponsored by the Fuel Optimization Organization, left Tehran for the historic city of Isfahan on Sunday.

He, moroever, said that the solar-powered cell of the car has an 18 percent efficiency and that it has a speed of 100 km/h.

Abri-Nia, however, pointed out that production of solar-powered cars are currently not economical due to the high cost of production of these cars.

The team accompanying Ghazal in its maiden trip is due to return to Tehran on May 20, he added.

Iranian designers of this car have been invited to join the search for the world's 20 best research teams by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) that will find the technology to produce the best future solar cars, he said.

He added that although production of solar cars dates back to the last 50 years, Iran has only now been able to access the technology.

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