Dubbed SpectruM, this year's car is part of a worldwide effort to highlight alternative energy sources and build vehicles that run solely on solar energy. Following a two-year design and racing cycle, SpectruM represents Michigan's seventh entry since joining the sport in 1989. In the last cycle, Michigan's car M-Pulse won the American Solar Challenge and took third place in the World Solar Challenge in Australia among a tough field of professional and student teams. Michigan is the only school to have won the American race three times.
This year's car resembles a sleeker, larger version of M-Pulse with one major exception--it is a two-seater. By taking on a passenger, new race rules allow cars to race with larger solar arrays. Betting on its ultra-efficient use of energy, SpectruM and its passenger will weigh about 200 pounds more than the 600-pound M-Pulse and increase its solar array from 4000 to 5000 solar cells. The team expects the car to have a top speed of 75 miles per hour and go from zero to 60 miles per hour in about 15 seconds with zero emissions. Driver and passenger will sit back-to-back with the passenger facing rearward.
The University of Michigan Solar Car Team is one of the largest, most complex and technically ambitious student projects at the University. About 150 students make contributions to the car, including students from the College of Engineering, Business School and School of Art & Design. Throughout the year, the team designs, manufactures and tests the vehicle, as well as manages all aspects of the team's fundraising, logistics and b
Contact: Neal Lao
University of Michigan College of Engineering