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Posted on  

August 10, 2001

University of Michigan Wins American Solar Challenge

The University of Michigan’s solar car, M-Pulse, cruised to victory in the American Solar Challenge today, crossing the finish line at 11:37 a.m. PDT after traveling 2,300 miles using only the energy of the sun.

Michigan’s car made the trip from Chicago to the Los Angeles area in 56 hours and 10 minutes and 46 seconds, for an average speed of 40 mph.

The University of Missouri at Rolla placed second in the Challenge with a total time of 57:30:52. University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, finished third at 62:00:18.

“The fact that we came in first is unbelievable,” said Nader Shwayhat, Michigan’s team captain. “Three weeks before the race, we crashed our car and had to work 24 hours a day to get it ready. But we just took it one day at a time, and here we are.”

The American Solar Challenge (ASC) is an educational sporting event in which university teams, companies and clubs from around the world competed to build and race solar-powered cars across the country from Chicago following what remains of Route 66 through Illinois, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California.

It is the longest solar car race in the world.

The race is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, its National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), EDS and Terion.

“Congratulations to the University of Michigan on winning the American Solar Challenge,” said U.S. Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham. “I'm proud that a team from my home state has won, but all the teams deserve our admiration for designing, building and racing cars more than 2,300 miles without using a drop of fuel. This accomplishment by these young people demonstrates the significant potential renewable energy holds for our nation's future.”

“EDS is proud to be a sponsor of the American Solar Challenge,” said EDS Executive Director Clay Snyder. “Through the use of the latest technology on the market, teams are able to plan and strategize their participation. This experience provides students with a glimpse into how today’s business runs and makes them outstanding candidates for our future workforce.”

The U.S. Department of Energy is committed to researching and developing clean and cost-effective energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies and maintaining America's technological competitiveness and energy security. The Department's science and technology agenda complements private sector research and development efforts by investing in areas that promise long-term energy, economic and environmental benefits. NREL is DOE's premier laboratory for renewable energy and energy efficiency research and development.

EDS, the leading global services company, provides strategy, implementation and hosting for clients managing the business and technology complexities of the digital economy. EDS brings together the world's best technologies to address critical client business imperatives. It helps clients eliminate boundaries, collaborate in new ways, establish their customers' trust and continuously seek improvement. EDS, with its management consulting subsidiary, A.T. Kearney, serves the world's leading companies and governments in 55 countries. EDS reported revenues of $19.2 billion in 2000. The company's stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE:EDS) and the London Stock Exchange. Learn more at EDS.

Terion Inc. is an industry leading business-to-business wireless application service provider using two-way wireless communications. The company, which operates in the U.S. and Canada, will provide real-time tracking of all of the ASC solar cars during the race. Each vehicle will be equipped with Terion's FleetView™ cellular-based location and asset management system as used in the transportation industry for trailer tracking and monitoring. Real-time tracking data will be available through Terion's unique Web software. Knight Transportation and Terion are sharing the underwriting for the vehicle tracking system.

ASC's mission is to advance renewable energy and electric vehicle technologies, promote educational and engineering excellence, encourage environmental consciousness and teach teamwork. The race provides hands-on experience for students, allowing them to build their technical skills for the 21st century marketplace.


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