A huge thanks to the Missouri Division of Energy for their continued support of our team! Their sponsorship this year has assisted in the finishing touches on Independence.

The Missouri Division of Energy seeks to provide clean energy for the state of Missouri, while also providing materials for the youth of the state to understand why energy efficiency is so important. They have been nationally recognized by the U.S. Department of Energy for their efforts in achieving energy efficiency.

We hope to work with them in achieving their goal by showing the public a high-performance solar car to assist in their venture for clean energy, and we’re looking forward to further innovation and support for solar energy within our community.

Brewer Science has been a sponsor for many years and we are so happy to have their continued support!

Brewer Science has revolutionized the global microelectronics industry and directly assisted in the advancement of microdevices within computers, tablets, smartphones, digital cameras and more. They have spent over three years researching and developing materials and processes for controlling light through photolithography.
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We are so excited to work with Mitsuba motors! We recently received the pair of motors we ordered last semester, which will be used on Independence this summer as well as on many future cars.

Mitsuba seeks to provide ‘pleasure and peace of mind’. It is their mission to create technologies that harmonize with both society and the environment, and their success in the automotive industry has made them widely known for their motors. Their products are used for solar cars, motorcycles, bicycles, and nursing care equipment.

Mitsuba’s motors are sure to help us in our race to the finish line for years to come. We hope to give their motors another win among solar car races!
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The start of the new school year signifies another chance to challenge ourselves to prepare and race a highly competitive solar vehicle. Our new officer corps is looking forward to bettering our communication and outreach, planning the design cycle for our next car, and reorganizing subteam projects.

Team President: Ellie Lunte
Chief Engineer: Christopher Riske
Secretary/Treasurer: Joseph Westhoff
Director of Business: Alyssa Roller
Logistics Manager: Nathaniel Blackwell
Electrical Lead: Joseph Kurosz
Mechanical Lead: Chris Loo

As we work hard to prepare Independence for FSGP 2019 and welcome new members to the team, we would like to thank the Missouri Department of Economic Development Division of Energy for their continued sponsorship throughout the past few years. In addition, thank you to all of our other sponsors that have helped us get this far, and we hope you continue to support us in the coming years: Continue Reading...

Prior to the start of the American Solar Challenge 2018, we had a critical failure in our new motors, which were constructed using a Halbach array configuration. This layout maximizes torque output while keeping the motor size relatively small, but it also increases the possibility of failure. The breakdown of our motors happened only a week before we left for the race.

We were very lucky when the Principia Solar Car Team came to our aid, lending us two of their Mitsuba motors and a spare motor controller. While we weren't able to compete in the race, we are grateful that our friends helped us when we were in need.


Whether you are a current member on a solar car team, an alumni of a team, or just interested in solar car racing, you've probably heard some details about the upcoming 2018 American Solar Challenge race route.

The race will begin in Omaha, Nebraska and finish ~1,780 miles (2,864 meters) later in Bend, Oregon, somewhat following the Oregon Trail.
The route was chosen by ASC officials in-part due to the drier climate that these western states provide, since most of the 2016 American Solar Challenge was troubled with rain and clouds.

This route will take us through some stunning scenery, but will not be an easy race.
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Recently, our team stumbled upon a hidden gem inside our archive. The documentary, filmed by KY3 News (Springfield, MO), begins with the 1999 Sunrayce (Washington, D.C. -> Orlando, FL) and then details our first trip to the World Solar Challenge, the team placed 1st and 3rd in our class (22nd overall) respectively.

Watching the documentary is a great look at just how much solar racing has changed in under two decades. We hope you enjoy it!

EDIT: Happy April Fools Day!


The 2017 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge is quickly approaching, and we've been hard at work since arriving back in Rolla from the 2016 American Solar Challenge to design and build the most revolutionary solar car the world has ever seen.

We've been following the development of other teams, and reached the conclusion that none of them pose a threat to us in the upcoming race. Our new car is just that good!
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In the fall of 2016 we set our sights on the largest solar car race in the world: the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge. BWSC consists of a 3,000 km, North to South trek across the Australian Outback, the dry, remote interior of the continent. Since our team’s “Recharge” in 2014 we have been working towards our goal of competing in Australia and now we are ready to return to solar car racing’s largest stage.

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EDIT: As some of you may have noticed, this blog post originally erroneously referred to the car pictured here as Solar Miner IV. In a funny turn of events, we mistakenly thought that this car was IV, not III, but were corrected by alumni on our social media pages. This article has been updated to reflect more accurate information!


At the start of this semester, Solar Miner III, our 2001 race vehicle, was donated to the Kaleidoscope Discovery Center in downtown Rolla, Missouri.

Solar Miner III finished second in the 2001 American Solar Challenge, a 2,300 mile road race that followed Route 66 from Chicago to Los Angeles. Later that year, the team fitted the car with a sleeker upper body and higher efficiency solar cells and took it to Australia for the World Solar Challenge, where it finished in 4th place. At the turn of the century and in subsequent years, our team (then known as the University of Missouri - Rolla Solar Car Team) was riding hot on the trails of national success for many years, creating a legacy that is still remembered today.
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