Ann Arbor, MI – The University of Michigan Solar Car team announced the design of its new vehicle today to compete in the World Solar Challenge (WSC). Michigan’s 2013 vehicle: Freedum, recently changed from Generation, will have four wheels and an upright seating position to account for new WSC regulations. The design will feature an American Flag and a large picture of Stephen Colbert. Freedum, a play on one of Colbert’s favorite words, also continues a decade-long tradition of car names ending in ‘UM.’
When asked about the recent events, Eric Hausman, project manager of the Michigan-based solar vehicle team, said, “As a 7-time national championship team, we’re extremely proud of where we are today. We’re also extremely proud of Mr. Colbert, who in his own right is a national champion, so it simply made sense to put his head on our car.”
The move came about after several team members joined DORAK (Do Random Acts of Kindness). “We thought it would just be a nice thing to do.” said Pavan Naik, member of the UMSolar business division. “Mr. Colbert is a symbol of the American spirit and to have his face on our car… it says that the American spirit never stops. Just like our solar car,” stated Naik.
Recently the the team announced its “Buy-A-Cell” campaign, where supporters of the team can purchase a cell on Freedum for $250.
“Our goal is to be the first team from the Colbert Nation to win the World Solar Challenge” said Hausman.
UMsolar is an entirely student-run organization that designs and builds solar electric vehicles. The team races both nationally and internationally. Since its establishment in 1990, the team has built 11 vehicles, won the American Solar Challenge seven times, and placed third in the World Solar Challenge five times. To their disappointment, they have not appeared on the Colbert Report. The team is recognized as the most successful team in North America.
“The Colbert Report” is produced by Jon Stewart’s Busboy Productions, Inc. in association with Colbert’s Spartina Productions, Inc. Stewart and Colbert are the executive producers with Meredith Bennett, Richard Dahm and Tom Purcell as co-executive producers. None of them formally endorse umsolar. But it would be pretty cool. Jim Hoskinson is the director. Lisa Leingang is the executive in charge of production for COMEDY CENTRAL.
UPDATE: Thanks to everyone who participated in our April Fools’ Joke!