The American Solar Challenge (ASC) is a multi-day, 1500-2000 mile cross-country road race across North America. The event is typically held every other year during the summer and is open to solar car teams from countries all over the world. The routes have varied greatly over the course of the event's rich history, but they are always designed to provide teams with a great opportunity to demonstrate their solar cars under real world driving conditions and thoroughly test the reliability of all onboard systems.
Teams must first design and build a solar powered vehicle to meet the competition regulations. They are required to submit vehicle design reports and other documentation prior to the event for approval. When teams arrive on site for the event, race officials closely inspect every aspect of their vehicle to ensure full compliance with the regulations. Then cars must complete a pre-determined number of laps on a race track. At that point, cars begin the cross-country competition. The ASC presents a mix of city and highway driving on public roads of varying conditions, which makes careful energy management critical. Teams must carefully monitor weather patterns and adjust driving strategy accordingly. Creativity is a plus, as team typically encounter unexpectived issues along the way.
The most recent ASC was held in July/August 2016 and consisted of an 8 day 1,975 mile road course traveling through 7 states from Brecksville, OH to Hot Springs, SD. ASC 2016 Overall Winners & Results:
- University of Michigan (repeat winner from 2014)
- Dunwoody College of Technology
- University of Toronto
The 2018 American Solar Challenge has been announced as an 8 day 1700+ mile road course starting in Hastings, Nebraska, traveling along much of the historic Oregon Trail, and concluding in Oregon. Applications are currently being accepted.
For more information visit the American Solar Challenge