American Solar Challenge 2018

The 39 solar car teams below (from 8 countries) are on the board for the American Solar Challenge next July (a few big-name teams are sitting this one out). I will (probably) blog about the race when the time comes. Following qualification at Motorsport Park Hastings, Nebraska, the race will run through the mountains from Omaha, Nebraska (elevation 330 m) to Bend, Oregon (elevation 1,100 m) via Farson, Wyoming (elevation 2,010 m). Here is the route map:


Route map, coloured by elevation (from −110 to 4351 m)

This year, cars in the competition are required to have four wheels and smaller solar panels, in line with WSC regulations (although “supplemental solar collectors” are permitted). Composite roll cages are not permitted this year. For the first time, there will be a serious Cruiser class (with 10 vehicles!). Of the other cars, so far 41% have an asymmetric/catamaran design. Apart from Michigan, there appear to be no “bullet cars.”


Cruiser scoring will be roughly as per WSC 2017 with 80% energy efficiency (3rd coloured bar = 1st ÷ 2nd), 20% practicality (grey), and a fixed arrival time window. These rules favour the 4-seat cars. A difference from WSC 2017 is that there will, I understand, be partial credit for trailered Cruisers.

Under grandfathering provisions, older cars (including 3-wheel cars) can race at Motorsport Park Hastings (as a separate class) and participate non-competitively in the ASC itself (provided that they passed scrutineering and qualification for one of the previous events). So far 3 teams are taking advantage of this. Teams are currently 33.7% green for pre-event documents. See here for my past race coverage, and check out the official ASC social media at  

US University of Michigan 

This team came 9th at WSC 2013, 4th at WSC 2015, 2nd at WSC 2017, and 1st at ASC 2016. They are bringing their existing car to ASC 2018. It is called Novum, and is a GaAs monohull design. The car arrived back from the WSC in January. They are very much the favourites to win ASC 2018. Their team number (2) is a long-standing tradition. Current ASC 2018 status is 4 green, 2 blue, 6 yellow.


photo: Anthony Dekker

US Kentucky 

This team came 12th at ASC 2016 and did 80 laps at FSGP 2017. They are building a new car for ASC 2018. It will be called Gato del Sol VI, and will be a symmetric design. Current ASC 2018 status is 4 green, 2 blue, 6 yellow.

US Massachusetts Institute of Technology 

This team came 23rd at WSC 2015. They are bringing their existing car to ASC 2018. It is called Flux, and is an asymmetric design. Current ASC 2018 status is 7 green, 2 blue, 3 yellow.

US University of Florida (Solar Gators) 

This team did 0 laps at FSGP 2017. They are building a new car for ASC 2018. Current ASC 2018 status is 1 green, 1 grey, 11 red (raising doubts as to whether they will actually turn up).

US Berkeley (CalSol) 

This team came 9th at ASC 2016 and did 228 laps at FSGP 2017. They are building a new car for ASC 2018. It will be a 2-seat Cruiser, called Tachyon. They are hoping to complete the car in early April. Current ASC 2018 status is 4 green, 2 blue, 5 yellow, 1 red.

US Anderson University

This team is bringing their existing car to ASC 2018. The car, which they have named Solis Corvus, is a 3-wheeler, and was built and raced by the Missouri S&T Solar Car Team as Solar Miner VIII. Current ASC 2018 status is 3 green, 1 yellow, 8 red.

US UT Austin 

This team did 60 laps at FSGP 2017. They are building a new car for ASC 2018. It will be called BeVolt, and will be a catamaran design. With two motors, the car should do well on the hill-climbing. Current ASC 2018 status is 1 green, 3 yellow, 8 red.

US Iowa State University (PrISUm) 

This team participated in the WSC 2017 Cruiser class. They came 7th at ASC 2016. They are bringing their existing car to ASC 2018. It is a 4-seat Cruiser, called Penumbra. The car arrived back from the WSC in December. Current ASC 2018 status is 7 green, 2 blue, 2 yellow, 1 red.


photo: Anthony Dekker

10  EG Solar Electric Vehicle – Cairo University Team 

This team is building a new car for ASC 2018. It will be a 2-seat Cruiser, called Horus. Current ASC 2018 status is 1 green, 11 red (raising doubts as to whether they will actually turn up).

15  AU Western Sydney Solar Team 

This team came 11th at WSC 2013, 10th at WSC 2015, and 6th at WSC 2017. They are bringing their existing car to ASC 2018. It is called Unlimited 2.0, and is a catamaran design. They are 2nd favourites this ASC, if they can repeat their past performance. Current ASC 2018 status is 1 green, 11 red (raising doubts as to whether they will actually turn up).

17  US Illinois State 

This team came 11th at ASC 2016 and did 172 laps at FSGP 2017. They are building a new car for ASC 2018. It will be called Mercury 6. Current ASC 2018 status is 2 green, 3 yellow, 7 red.

18  US University of California, San Diego 

This team is building a new car for ASC 2018. It will be a symmetric design. Current ASC 2018 status is 2 green, 2 yellow, 8 red.

22  US University of Illinois (Illini) 

This team participated in the WSC 2017 Adventure class. They are bringing their existing car to ASC 2018. It is called Argo, and is a symmetric design. They are particularly proud of their battery box. The car arrived back from the WSC in December. Current ASC 2018 status is 8 green, 2 blue, 2 yellow (making them one of the best-prepared teams).


photo: Anthony Dekker

24  CA Waterloo (Midnight Sun) 

This team did not qualify for ASC 2016. They are building a new car for ASC 2018. It will be a 2-seat Cruiser, called MS XII. They have a chassis. Current ASC 2018 status is 4 green, 1 blue, 3 yellow, 4 red.

32  US Principia Solar Car Team 

This team came 17th at WSC 2015. They participated in WSC 2017. They came 5th at ASC 2016 and did 11 laps at FSGP 2017. They are bringing their existing car to ASC 2018. It is called Ra X, and is a catamaran design. They are 3rd favourites this ASC, if they can repeat their past performance. Current ASC 2018 status is 3 green, 3 blue, 6 red.


photo: Anthony Dekker

35  US University of Minnesota 

This team came 4th in the WSC 2013 Cruiser class and 5th in the WSC 2015 Cruiser class. They participated in the WSC 2017 Cruiser class. They came 10th at ASC 2016. They are bringing their existing car to ASC 2018. It is a 2-seat Cruiser, called Eos II. They are particularly proud of their custom motors. Their team number (35) is apparently derived from the Interstate 35 highway. Current ASC 2018 status is 8 green, 2 blue, 2 yellow (making them one of the best-prepared teams).


photo: Anthony Dekker

42  US Missouri S&T 

This team came 4th at ASC 2016 and did 69 laps at FSGP 2017. They are building a new car for ASC 2018. It will be a catamaran design. They are particularly proud of their super tiny BMS. Current ASC 2018 status is 8 green, 2 blue, 2 yellow (making them one of the best-prepared teams).

49  US Georgia Tech 

This team did not qualify for ASC 2016 but did 89 laps at FSGP 2017. They are building a new car for ASC 2018. It will be called SR-2, and will be a symmetric design. Their team number (49) is taken from STS-49, the maiden flight of the space shuttle Endeavour. Current ASC 2018 status is 6 green, 2 blue, 3 yellow, 1 red.

55  CA Poly Montreal (Esteban) 

This team came 10th at ASC 2016 and did 198 laps at FSGP 2017. They are building a new car for ASC 2018. It will be called Esteban9, and will be a catamaran design. Their team number (55) is the year that Western Electric began to sell licenses for silicon PV technology. Current ASC 2018 status is 8 green, 2 blue, 2 yellow (making them one of the best-prepared teams).

57  US Southern Illinois University Edwardsville 

This team did not qualify for ASC 2016 but did 57 laps at FSGP 2017. They are bringing their existing car to ASC 2018. It is called NOVA, and is an older 3-wheel design. Current ASC 2018 status is 6 green, 2 blue, 2 yellow, 2 red.

65  CA Calgary 

This team came 8th in the WSC 2013 Cruiser class. They are building a new car for ASC 2018. It will be a 2-seat Cruiser, called Schulich Elysia. Current ASC 2018 status is 3 green, 9 red.

66  US Rutgers University 

This team is building a new car for ASC 2018. It will be an unusual symmetric design. Current ASC 2018 status is 1 green, 1 yellow, 10 red.

86  US New Jersey Institute of Technology 

This team is building a new car for ASC 2018. Current ASC 2018 status is 6 green, 2 blue, 4 yellow.

87  US University of Virginia 

This team is building a new car for ASC 2018. It will be a symmetric design. They began designing a 3-wheel car, but switched to 4 wheels because of the new rules (having missed the announcement that changes were coming). Current ASC 2018 status is 6 green, 1 blue, 3 yellow, 2 red.

89  RU Polytech Solar 

This team is bringing their existing car to ASC 2018. It is called SOL, and is a catamaran design. Current ASC 2018 status is 4 green, 1 blue, 1 yellow, 6 red.

96  CA Western University (Sunstang) 

This team did 0 laps at FSGP 2017. They are bringing their existing car to ASC 2018. It is an older 3-wheel design. Current ASC 2018 status is 1 green, 11 red (raising doubts as to whether they will actually turn up).

99  US North Carolina State University 

This team is building a new car for ASC 2018. It will be a 4-seat Cruiser. Current ASC 2018 status is 3 green, 2 blue, 4 yellow, 3 red.

101  CA ETS Quebec (Eclipse) 

This team came 18th at WSC 2013, 8th at ASC 2016, and did 174 laps at FSGP 2017. They are building a new car for ASC 2018. It will be called Éclipse X, and will be a catamaran design. They are particularly proud of their low weight. Current ASC 2018 status is 7 green, 2 blue, 2 yellow, 1 red.

116  CA McMaster University 

This team did not qualify for ASC 2016 but did 177 laps at FSGP 2016. They are building a new car for ASC 2018. It will be a carbon monoque catamaran design. It is scheduled for completion in May 2018. Current ASC 2018 status is 2 green, 2 blue, 2 yellow, 6 red.

201  US University of California, Irvine 

This team is building a new car for ASC 2018. It will be a symmetric design. Current ASC 2018 status is 3 green, 2 yellow, 7 red.

221  US University of California, Riverside 

This team is building a new car for ASC 2018. It will be called Grian, and will be an unusual symmetric design. Current ASC 2018 status is 3 green, 2 blue, 5 yellow, 2 red.

256  US Phoenix Solar Racing 

This team is building a new car for ASC 2018. It will be a 2-seat Cruiser, called Cygnus. Current ASC 2018 status is 1 green, 2 yellow, 9 red.

314  US Purdue 

This team is bringing their existing car to ASC 2018. It is called Renatus, and is a symmetric design. Current ASC 2018 status is 3 green, 4 blue, 5 yellow.

420  US Southern California Solar Car Team 

This team is building a new car for ASC 2018. It will be called Traveler 1, and will be a symmetric design. Current ASC 2018 status is 5 green, 2 blue, 5 yellow.

559  IT Onda Solare 

This team came 10th at WSC 2013 and 6th at ESC 2016. They won the 2017 Albi Eco Race and came 2nd in the Evolución class at the 2016 Carrera Solar Atacama.They are building a new car for ASC 2018. It will be a 4-seat Cruiser, called Emilia 4. Current ASC 2018 status is 6 green, 2 blue, 3 yellow, 1 red.

786  US Western Michigan (Sunseeker) 

This team did not qualify for ASC 2016 but did 1 lap at FSGP 2017. They are bringing their existing car to ASC 2018. It is called Farasi, and is a symmetric design. Their team number (786) is the sequence of digits for S-U-N on old phones. Current ASC 2018 status is 8 green, 2 blue, 1 yellow, 1 red (making them one of the best-prepared teams).

787  PR Solar Car UPRM  

This team did 35 laps at FSGP 2017. They suffered some damage from Hurricane Maria. They are bringing their existing car to ASC 2018. It is called El Pitirre, and is a symmetric design. Their team number (787) is the main telephone area code for Puerto Rico. Current ASC 2018 status is 1 green, 11 red (raising doubts as to whether they will actually turn up).

828  US Appalachian State University 

This team came 6th at ASC 2016 and did 218 laps at FSGP 2017. Members participated in WSC 2017 with the Antakari team. They are building a new car for ASC 2018. It will be a 2-seat Cruiser. They are particularly proud of the cup holders. Their team number (828) is the telephone area code for western North Carolina. Current ASC 2018 status is 4 green, 2 blue, 4 yellow, 2 red.

966  SA Alfaisal University

This team is building a new car for ASC 2018. It will be called AREG-SC1. Current ASC 2018 status is 3 green, 2 blue, 6 yellow, 1 red.

This page last updated 11:57 on 18 January 2018 AEDT


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