Iowa State University’s latest student-built solar car has proven it can run in the sun by qualifying for a major race this summer. Justin Steinlage is part of the team that built the car called “Fusion”, which he says completed 366 laps in a three-day qualifying race in Kansas. He says the car is probably running as well as an I-S-U car has run in four years. Steinlage says the qualification run puts them in the North American Solar Car Challenge, racing from Austin, Texas to Calgary Alberta, Canada. He says the race is about 24-hundred miles and will involved some 30 competitors from around North America. Steinlage says while the Team PrISUM car ran well in the qualifying race — that was on a regular track — and the next race will be tougher. He says the road race is longer with a lot more variety of the terrain. He says it will test the vehicle more, but he says that’s what they’ve build the car to do. Steinlage says the car ran at 90-percent efficiency in the Kansas qualifier and now they just need to tune it up for the big race. He says they want to get the efficiency to 99-point-nine percent to be able to drive without stopping. He says they have some minor improvements to make to make the car more efficient. The big race begins July 17th and runs through July 27th. One leg of the race will take the solar cars into Iowa between Sioux City and Sioux Falls, South Dakota, beginning the evening of July 19 until about noon on July 21. The car cost 350-thousand dollars to build.
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