A Sustainable Winnipeg

The Shell Eco-marathon is one event on a long list of cancellations because of the recent COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak.

The student ecoMotion team at the University of Manitoba won’t be travelling to California for this year’s competition, but safety lead Nick Loughren said they’re still building their battery-electric car.

“We’re not at all discouraged,” said Loughren. “… It gives us the opportunity to continue to improve the car.”

Loughren said ecoMotion can use the money they would have used for this year’s trip to improve the car for the 2021 competition.

The Shell Eco-marathon is a race, but Loughren said speed isn’t the reason for building the car.

“It’s built more for efficiency,” he said.
ecoMotion team member Julissa Rodriguez said sustainability is important for the future of the environment, and that future engineers can help improve the program.

“Young engineers need to be taught how to make electric cars, because that’s going to be the future,” she said.

Gas emissions need to be limited and it starts with more people making the switch to electric cars, said Rodriguez.

In May, the federal government introduced up to a $5,000 rebate for any Canadian buying a new electric vehicle. Almost half of the $3 million-dollar rebate budget has been used as of mid-January, according to Transport Canada.

Rodriguez doesn’t stop thinking about sustainability when she leaves the U of M workshop.

“You can take the bus more, or walk, ride your bike,” she said. “There’s also things like eating less meat and dairy.”


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