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. The team finished their first car, Aurora I, in under three years to compete in the 1993 GM Sunrayce. 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. Since Aurora I, the team has built twelve additional cars, becoming one of the most decorated teams in America.
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 is 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.
The 2015 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge was 3000 kilometers across the continent of Australia - from Darwin in the north to Adelaide in the south - and the team finished fifth in a class for which over half of the participants could not even make it to the finish line. 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.