Solar Car

The one word that captures the Principia College solar car team is unlimited—unlimited love, unlimited prayer, and unlimited expectations. Every student who comes ready to love and ready to work is welcomed into this family, regardless of background, experience, or field of study. Ask team members if they want to win their next “rayce,” and without hesitation you’ll hear, “Of course . . . but that’s not our goal.” The team constantly strives to work and pray through the plethora of challenges inherent in designing, building, and racing a solar car, while always focusing on its true goal—to glorify God.

For nearly two decades, Principia’s team has participated in solar car challenges around the world, competing with teams from MIT, the University of Michigan, and the NUNA team, sponsored by the European Space Agency. The eight solar cars built by Principia have logged well over 27,000 miles in North America, Australia, China, Greece, and Taiwan. Over the past ten years, the team has repeatedly placed in the top seven finishers in major national and international challenges. Additionally, the team has been recognized for excellence in safety, engineering design, sportsmanship, and teamwork.

In 2009, Principia finished seventh in the World Solar Challenge, a 3000-kilometer race across the Australian outback. In the 2011 race, Principia was one of only 37 teams that completed the trek from Darwin to Adelaide, and most recently, the team completed the summer 2012 American Solar Challenge, placing third.


Solar Car Finishes Seventh in the World

Principia College’s solar car, Ra 7, finished seventh in the 2009 World Solar Challenge, a grueling 3,000-kilometer race across the Outback from Darwin to Adelaide, Australia.... Click to read more.

Principia placed third in the 2012 American Solar Challenge—ahead of MIT, UC Berkely, Michigan State, and others. Read more and see photos from the race.