Solar Car

For nearly 20 years, the solar car team has competed in races in the U.S. and around the world, going up against engineering powerhouses such as MIT and the University of Michigan. The nine solar cars built by Principia have logged well over 30,000 miles in North America, Australia, China, Greece, and Taiwan. In the last decade, Principia has repeatedly placed among the top seven finishers and won six safety awards and three engineering excellence awards. 

In 2009, Principia finished seventh in the World Solar Challenge, a 3000-kilometer race across the Australian outback, and in the 2011 WSC, Principia was one of only 37 teams to complete the trek from Darwin to Adelaide. The team placed third in the 2012 American Solar Challenge—a 1,650 mile race from New York to Minnesota. Most recently, the team finished fourth in the 2013 Formula Sun Grand Prix in Austin, Texas.

Team members designed and built the College's ninth solar car, Ra 9, in preparation for the 2014 American Solar Challenge.

Visit for more information about the team.

Visit Principia College's official solar car website.

“I use the skills I developed with solar car every day. Also, I've seen firsthand how my liberal arts background from Principia helps me because I can write and communicate effectively in my job.”