close-up of solar cells on the University of Minnesota solar vehicle

New car will compete in World Solar Challenge across the Australian Outback in October

What: University of Minnesota solar car unveiling

When: Noon-3 p.m. (Short program and unveiling at 12:15 p.m.), Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Where: Lind Hall Courtyard, University of Minnesota Minneapolis Campus, 207 Church St SE, Minneapolis; parking available in the Washington Avenue Ramp, 501 Washington Ave SE, Minneapolis

Media Note: This will be the last chance for media to get photos and video of the car before it is shipped later this month to Australia for the World Solar Challenge

MINNEAPOLIS / ST. PAUL (07/10/2017) — The University of Minnesota Solar Vehicle Project team will give the public a first look at its newest solar-electric hybrid car at a special event for the media, sponsors and supporters.

Those attending will be among the first to see the new car and view its inner workings, and hear from members of the team about the upcoming competition.

This is the first public viewing of the car in preparation for the 2017 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge, a 3,022-kilometer (1,878-mile) race across the Australian Outback starting in Darwin and heading south to Adelaide. The race runs from Oct. 8-15, 2017.

The U of M’s team will compete in a Cruiser Class where practicality, not speed, is the goal. The team’s car will include a few comfort features of regular cars such as a passenger seat, doors, and padded car seats. The car is named Eos II after Eos, the goddess of the dawn, representing a “new day” for the team. This is the second-generation car with the Eos name and the third car built for the Cruiser Class.

“We designed our car with the efficiency in mind but with a heavier emphasis on comfort and appeal, experiencing the same restrictions and trade-offs seen in the auto industry,” said Graham Krumpelmann, a mechanical engineering student and Solar Vehicle Project director of engineering.

About 45 University of Minnesota College of Science and Engineering students are part of the current team and 19 will be part of the race crew in Australia. Team members estimate that they’ve collectively spent more than 50,000 hours over the last two years planning and building the solar car.

In 2015, the University of Minnesota was among 12 teams from around the world and the only U.S. team to compete in the Cruiser Class. The University of Minnesota solar car team has a history of success. The team was the only Cruiser Class vehicle to qualify for the American Solar Challenge in 2016 after finishing fifth in its class at the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge in 2015.

In addition to significant support from the University’s College of Science and Engineering and several academic departments, materials for the U of M’s solar car were funded through cash and in-kind donations of parts and materials from more than 50 local and national companies. Major sponsors include 3M, Altium, ANSYS, Cirrus Aircraft, Coastal Enterprises, Delta Airlines, Ford Motor Company, and Tektronix. 

For more information or to support the team, visit the Solar Vehicle Project team website.

For more information about the race in Australia, visit 2017 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge website.

Contacts:

Rhonda Zurn, College of Science and Engineering, rzurn@umn.edu, (612) 626-7959

Lacey Nygard, University News Service, ljnygard@umn.edu, (612) 625-0552