App State Solar Vehicle Team Celebrates its First Place Finish with a Victory Lap on Campus
Appalachian State’s student solar vehicle team, Team Sunergy, celebrated its first-place finish in the 2021 American Solar Challenge with a special victory lap and ceremony on campus Friday morning.
App State was one of nine university teams — including MIT, University of California, Berkeley and Georgia Tech — that qualified to compete in the American Solar Challenge and among only two universities that do not offer engineering programs.
Teams compete in either the Single-Occupant Vehicle (SOV) class or the Multi-Occupant Vehicle (MOV) class (also called the Cruiser Class). App State’s ROSE competed in the MOV class, in which vehicles race with two occupants instead of one. ROSE is a four-wheeled, two-passenger car capable of charging its batteries from its solar array as well as by traditional electric vehicle wall charging ports. The car has a top speed of 60 mph and a maximum range of 300 miles on a single battery charge.
The nearly 1,000-mile route from Independence, Missouri, to Las Vegas, New Mexico, included the dauntingly steep Ratón Pass at the Colorado-New Mexico border. The stretch of highway gains 1,400 feet in elevation in about 2 miles. App State was one of only three teams in both classes to successfully crest the summit; the remaining cars were given an option to go around. In this year’s American Solar Challenge, Team Sunergy achieved the second-fastest average speed in both classes, behind only MIT.