Jul
28
2005

Minnesota schools score a first and a second in national solar car competitions.

The University of Minnesota Solar Vehicle Project (UMNSVP) team finished second in the 2,500-mile 2005 North American Solar Challenge racing in their vehicle, the Borealis III. The race began on July 17 in Austin, Texas and finished on July 27 in Calgary, Alberta. The Borealis III demonstrates the use of renewable energy driving on highways. Including the most recent race, UMNSVP finished second in this same contest four of the eight times it has competed. The UMNSVP team took first place overall out of 18 teams at the 2005 Formula Sun on the Heartland Park Raceway in Topeka, KS this past May.

The St. Thomas Academy Experimental Vehicle Team's (EVT) 2005 solar car placed first in the Dell-Winston Solar Car Challenge on July 16. The Challenge is a 959-mile, eight-day race from Round Rock, Texas to Pasadena, California. The team's solar car finished 19 minutes ahead of the second place finisher, setting a national record for the event in the process.

Gasoline electric hybrid vehicles, such as the Mercury Mariner, the Toyota Prius, and the Honda Civic Hybrid are already on the roads. Perhaps a hybrid car involving the use of solar power is not too far off?

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