The University of Minnesota Solar Vehicle Project was founded by a group of undergraduate students from the U of M College of Science and Engineering in 1990 and competed in the 1993 GM Sunrayce with its first Solar Car, Aurora I. Since then, The Solar Vehicle Project has remained true to its original foundation as a student administered, designed, and built project that teaches members about engineering and management in a complete product development environment. The team has built twelve solar vehicles, and is one of the most decorated teams in America.
The team will compete in the 2017 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge: a 3000 kilometers race across the continent of Australia - from Darwin in the north to Adelaide in the south. In 2016, the Solar Vehicle Project placed fourth in the Formula Sun Grand Prix and tenth in the American Solar Challenge, the only cruiser competitor to qualify for either race.
Eos, the team's most recent vehicle, exemplifies the change of direction that the University of Minnesota Solar Vehicle Project has taken in recent years. The team was the first American team to compete in the Cruiser Class at the World Solar Challenge. In addition to speed, this class focuses on practicality and number of people in the car. This poses several new design criteria to give the team room to innovate.