CITRIS is a sponsor of CalSol, the UC Berkeley Solar Vehicle Team. This student organization has completed its latest solar vehicle, Impulse, and is preparing to race in the 2011 World Solar Challenge held in Australia from October 16th to October 23rd. This will mark the first time CalSol has ever raced a solar car in the World Solar Challenge.
The team has made a significant amount of progress in the last few weeks, and has spent its time testing Impulse out on the public road and meeting up with sponsors. Impulse is the result of 2 years worth of effort by a team of 75 undergraduate students. While Impulse only seats one person in its cockpit, it has the top speed of 70 mph, and has over 50 highway miles under its belt. Impulse powers itself purely off of solar energy, and uses no gasoline engines. The team is extremely excited to have come this far, and is busy making final preparations to ensure a smooth voyage as Impulse gets shipped to Australia.
Teams will start in Darwin. After a careful week-long process that assesses the safety and functionality of the car, teams will be allowed to make their way on public highways south towards the final destination, Adelaide. The race will cover over 3000km (1890 miles) over the course of seven days and trace a route from the northern tip of Australia to the southern tip. We hope to cover the race with updates next month. Good luck!
More about CalSol is at: http://calsol.berkeley.edu/index.php