The Little Red Solar Car That (Finally) Could!

SIUESouthern Illinois University-Edwardsville is the underdog, the team everyone is pulling for. Rumor is they use an old motor that makes a heckuva racket, but that just doesn’t have the “oomph!” They’ve attacked The Hill over and cover again to no avail. Each time they rev up their machine, everybody takes notice. Each time, people surge forward to see if they’ll finally make it, only to be disappointed again.

Until a little after 1:00 this afternoon.

SIUE’s young woman driver made three runs in short order but then something changed. Same noise, same ponderous rate of climb, but the motor didn’t seem to fade, it just kept growling. Little by little, to the ecstatic cheers of their solar-racing peers it finally made it!

Since then SIUE has figured it out and she is turning lap after steady lap, turtles-and-hare style. The haven’t clawed onto the leader board, but the car works at last.

Good for them!


  1. Beth Smith says

    Thanks, Bob! What a nice story. Means a lot to the team and to my daughter Lisa (the driver, SIUE EE student and Assistant Project Director/Logistics Director).

    It was a delight to meet you. Hope to see you there next year!