Independence was originally designed for the 2017 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge in Australia, but was put on hold for the 2018 American Solar Challenge. This was our team's first four-wheeled design in over 20 years, and our first catamaran design. Many of the driving factors for design choices of Independence have been based on mistakes we've learned from while designing and racing Solar Miner.
The car was named after Independence, Missouri, the city where the Oregon Trail begins, since the 2018 ASC race route somewhat followed the Oregon Trail. Unfortunately, after several setbacks with the motors and further difficulties with the battery protection system, Independence was prevented from racing in FSGP/ASC 2018 by one scrutineering requirement.
Independence will be racing in FSGP 2019 at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, TX, as well as in ASC 2020.