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Monday, April 22, 2024

PHOTOS: Solar Gators showcase their solar-powered vehicle for national competition

After years of hard work and engineering obstacles, the Solar Gators revealed their newest solar-powered car at UF’s New Engineering Building Thursday. The car is set to compete at the Formula Sun Grand Prix at Topeka, Kansas, throughout the week. 

Designed and assembled completely by UF students, the “Sunrider” can reach speeds up to 50 mph, and a single battery pack can power it through 200 miles. 

The week-long competition consists of four days of scrutineering, where experts test and inspect every piece of the vehicle, followed by three days of racing. It’s a race of endurance where previous winners reached 700 miles through multiple battery packs. The team will compete against 14 other groups from across the United States and Canada. Irene Chung, president-elect of Solar Gators, said winning this competition will qualify them for larger competitions such as the American Solar Challenge. However, more hurdles await them at the racetrack, she said. 

“As you start driving,” she said, “you start seeing things that you’ve never seen before, and you’ve got to debug and problem solve on the fly.”


Marcus Rojas

Marcus Rojas is a UF journalism senior and the photo editor for the Alligator. Ask him anything about boxing, coffee and music genres. 

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