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College Kids Have Made the World’s Fastest Solar Car

Nov 10, 2016

College Kids Have Made the World’s Fastest Solar Car


Move over, Elon Musk—college students are taking the wheel. Cal Poly’s Prototype Vehicles Laboratory (aka Prove Lab) in San Luis Obispo are in the process of developing the world’s fastest solar-powered car. Even more impressively, the car they’re building is the first to have no battery or energy reserve because it is entirely reliant on solar power.

It all comes down to June 2017 in the Mojave Desert, when the team tries to break the world record for the fastest solar powered land-vehicle.

The current speed record for a solar-powered ride was set in Japan in back in 2014 at just over 56 mph, but PROVE’s car is “fast enough to get a ticket on the freeway.” In order to reach those high speeds, the PROVE-mobile uses a lightweight and aerodynamic made up of formula one-style carbon fiber that is so light that it can be lifted and carried by two people— and it still has strength four times that of steel. All of these fancy materials were created by utilizing Cal Poly’s advanced wind tunnel simulation technology.

So who are the smarties who are PROVE? The team is made up of over 60 students ranging from engineering to marketing majors who work together in a way reminiscent of a car startup. Besides their own epic project, PROVE’s team is launching a mentor program for middle school students—set to launch January 2017—focused on renewable energy, coding for autonomous driving, and even the opportunity to design small-scale vehicles of their own.


Check out the video from PROVE Lab and keep up with their progress here: