The Car

Powered solely by the sun, this single-seat race vehicle uses the same amount of energy that it takes to power a hair-dryer. On a closed test course, Infinium reached speeds of over 105 mph. Building the solar car is a two year project that takes over 100 student team members and more than 1 million dollars. Vehicles from previous project cycles are on display at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, the Great Lakes Science Center in Cleveland, and the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan. 


Quantum is the team’s 11th vehicle. The team finished Quantum earlier than previous cars, allowing for more testing time and time to design second iteration parts. The car weighs in at just around 320 pounds without a driver – 200 pounds lighter than our last car, Infinium! Quantum is also 30% more aerodynamic than Infinium and is the best solar car the team has ever raced in the World Solar Challenge. 

The Strategy

Racing successfully goes beyond building the best car, it also must be driven correctly. Race strategy involves developing detailed mathematic models of the various systems of the vehicle and using these models to predict vehicle performance during the race. We also take into account weather data from our team meteorologist, which allows us to optimize our energy consumption.


Weight: 320 lbs. (without driver)
Battery: Lithium Ion
Solar Cells: Silicon Cells
Tires: Michelin, low rolling resistance tires
CDA: <0.1, ultra aerodynamic
Anticipated Top Speed: 105 MPH
Nominal Power Output: <2 hp
Maximum Power Output: 12.3 hp
Fuel Type: Solar
Chassis & Body: Carbon Fiber Monocoque
Motor: In-hub, brushless electric DC motor (approximately 98% efficient)
Dimensions: 16’ long x 5’ wide x 3.5’ tall