Final Day of the American Solar Challenge!
Today started under cloud cover and ended in rain. We also had to accept that a solar car has a lot of trouble with range without solar power.
We left Scotts Bluff in Nebraska at 9:00 AM, making our way north 153 miles to Wind Cave National Park, in Hot Springs, South Dakota. Because of the charge we had gotten through the clouds during our charges last night and this morning, we were able to make it 50 miles of the route, but without the sun to charge our battery, we ultimately had to trailer the last 100 miles of the race.
This was disappointing, as we had strategized with the hopes of enough sun to allow us to drive the full final stage, but mother nature had other plans for us. After our car finally ran out of battery, we loaded it into the trailer. By the time we reached the finish line, rain was coming down. We were still, however, able to pull our car out of our trailer and run with it across the line.
This race, however disappointing, may have been the most important performance test of Eos. As we try to push Solar Car technology towards the mainstream, we must understand how it will behave under all conditions. Cars are reliable because they can refuel under any weather conditions. For Solar Cars to generate genuine interest, they must be able to perform under the same conditions. We will continue to make our components more reliable and adaptable to the diverse environments they will experience. This reality underscores how important continued development on Solar Car technologies is to the possible future of transportation.