Michigan engineering students take third place in global solar car competition

October 26, 2011, 7:30 am

Very cool engineering news from another university here in Michigan:

Through a smoldering brush fire, past wind-shearing road trains, across the Australian continent, the University of Michigan’s Quantum was the first American car to finish the World Solar Challenge today. The Solar Car Team placed third overall in the international competition.[...]

After driving for 35 hours and 33 minutes over five days, the U-M team crossed the end-of-timing line in Angle Vale, South Australia at 3:55 p.m. race time (2:25 a.m. U.S. ET). They are spending the night there. In the morning they will drive the remaining 20 miles to the ceremonial finish line in Adelaide’s Victoria Square.

“It was an incredibly close race, especially due to the unexpected elements such as the brush fire which delayed the race, dust storms, major cloud cover at the end of the race, and the ultra reliable cars of Nuon and Tokai,” said Chris Hilger, the team’s business director.

With an average speed of 56 mph, Japan’s Tokai University finished first. The Netherlands’ Nuon took second.

Here’s video:

Nice job U-M. That car looks fun to drive.

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