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Posted on Mon, Jul 22, 2013 : 11:50 a.m.

University of Michigan team takes its solar car for a test run around Michigan

By Kellie Woodhouse

University of Michigan's student-built "Generation" took a test run through the Midwest this weekend in preparation for the 1,860-mile 2013 World Solar Car Challenge race in Australia this fall.

Generation was built with lightweight carbon fiber and, including the driver, weighs in at between 500 and 600 pounds.

The car took two years and $1 million to build. It was built by some 100 students who received support from sponsors. It runs on a Lithium Ion battery, charged by sunlight, and has silicon solar cells.

The car left Ann Arbor Saturday and passed through Ohio and Indiana before traveling through Western Michigan. The car and its crew are expected to pass through Petoskey on Monday, Pinconning on Tuesday and return to Ann Arbor on Wednesday.

The practice course is 1,100 miles. The car and a 21-student team will partake in the Australian race in October. The car can reach 105 miles per hour.

On Monday the team had to make an unexpected stop to fix a few kinks. The UMSolarCarTeam tweeted "We're stopping in Grand Haven for some technical difficulties. This is why we practice!"

Kellie Woodhouse covers higher education for Reach her at or 734-623-4602 and follow her on twitter.



Tue, Jul 23, 2013 : 1:08 a.m.

A hundred miles an hour in a 600 pound car, it's aerodynamics must be something, especially with crosswinds, etc.

Kellie Woodhouse

Mon, Jul 22, 2013 : 8:55 p.m.

It appears that the team was stranded in Grand Haven for the day due to technical difficulties. Check out this MLive article.


Tue, Jul 23, 2013 : 1:04 a.m.

There's worse places to be stranded! LOL


Mon, Jul 22, 2013 : 8:02 p.m.

Do they get a free pass on speeding? 105mph in a Solar car is awesome! Go Blue!

Dog Guy

Mon, Jul 22, 2013 : 4:36 p.m.

If the car can reach 105 miles per hour, this could be a quick tour of Michigan. Best of luck in that down-under Oz.