Solar Electric Vehicles, DifferenceMakers

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We want to change the future of the environment.

This team won Second Place in the Contribution to a Healthier Lifestyle category and was awarded $2,500. Team members include Chukwuma Azubuine (Graduate, Entrepreneurship), Richard Asirifi (Junior, Electrical Engineering), Anas Dahany (Senior, Electrical Engineering), David Jenkins (Senior, Mechanical Engineering), Oliver Kayego, (Sophomore, Electrical Engineering), Chris Leger (Senior, Electrical Engineering), Jared Mrvos (Sophomore, Computer Engineering), Charles Reid (Senior, Mechanical Engineering), Kenneth Sanders (Freshman, Computer Science), and Mukhammaddin Zinaddinov (Freshman, Electrical Engineering).
This team is designing a series of low speed and high efficiency commuter vehicles that utilize hub motor technology to allow people to travel using purely the energy of the sun. It’s clear that as we enter the 21st century, one of the greatest challenges that engineers will face is to stunt the growing pollution rates and create products that not only reduce pollution, but completely eliminate it. Electric car and bicycle manufacturers have paved the road for this by enabling consumers to travel without a direct reliance on gasoline, but that’s only half the solution. In order to completely free the transportation industry from fossil fuel dependencies, the electricity must come from a completely renewable source of energy. Although some electric car manufacturers have begun to mount solar panels onto their cars, typical electric cars consume much more energy than the roof space is capable of generating. This team is addressing this problem by targeting customers who don’t travel on the highway during their daily commute, and by using technology that allows their vehicles to draw considerably less power by using efficient hub motors. They have implemented this in three prototypes for potential products: A solar tricycle, quadricycle, and a car.