Oregon College Solar Car Drives 661 Miles On Clean Energy

The world of college solar powered cars is getting busy these days. The University of Michigan, a top flight competitor in this space, just recently introduced its latest racer for the upcoming World Solar Challenge. While the Wolverines were doing this, Oregon State University (OSU) was out in Austin, Texas under a bright sun and 105 degree heat winning the 2013 Formula Sun Grand Prix – go Beavers!

OSU’s entry, dubbed The Phoenix, won last week at this event by posting 193 laps, or 661 miles, around the Circuit of the Americas raceway on nothing but solar energy. Eleven teams from across North America competed in what’s said to be the “closest Formula Sun Grand Prix race in its 13-year history, a three-day race that featured 24 hours of racing time.” Runners up included Illinois State University, with 192 laps, and Iowa State University, with 191 laps.

image via Oregon State University

image via Oregon State University

One thing which keeps this race friendly is the “cooperative” racing format, in which

teams help others to address problems in the interest of helping every participant do as well as possible. The Phoenix had several motor problems this year, but Missouri University of Science and Technology generously lent their spare motor…More motor problems developed later in the race, but Northwestern University offered use of the motor from its car that was unable to race for other reasons. In that cooperative spirit, OSU helped many other teams to create, install and test new solar modules, repair brake systems, identify battery protection concerns and other issues.

The OSU racing team, consisting of both undergraduate and graduate students, plans to compete again next summer in the 2014 American Solar Challenge, which will include both track race and road race competition. This is the race University of Michigan typically dominates, so expect a friendly scrap up between two very solar powered, animal mascot loving vehicles and their drivers.

I am the editor-in-chief and founder for EarthTechling. This site is my desire to bring the world of green technology to consumers in a timely and informative matter. Prior to this my previous ventures have included a strong freelance writing career and time spent at Silicon Valley start ups.

    • Tori Skidori

      Well done Oregon State! Go Beavs!

    • Mona May

      Awesome!!!

    • Douglas Stansfield

      Need more technical info. Average speed, array output, motor size etc.

    • LIESMA

      When they get a decent sized vehicle that can carry parents and at least two kids, call me…

    • onenvrnos

      Excellent! Keep it up! We need it in America!!!

    • triapple

      Oregon State is doing what many others should have been doing long ago. This is great work and crucial to the future.

    • Egbert

      Its not a car, only 3 wheels.
      A car has 4 !!!! Some motor cycles !!!

    • Brad Stuart

      Awesome!!
      Solar powered cars are getting busy these days. but it’s not looking comfortable if anyone going to purchase.

      …………………………………………..

      Mcloughlin Chevy