Tufts Solar Vehicle Project

$6,442
Donated
85% of $7,500 goal
50
Donors
This campaign ended on January 15, 2024, but you can still make a gift to Tufts University by clicking here!
About

Who we are: 

Started last year, we are a collection of 30 passionate students united by our interest in all aspects of designing, making, financing, and racing road-legal, 100% solar powered vehicles. Our first car will take on national and international endurance challenges, including a race across Australia in 2025.

Building a complete driver-operated vehicle is incredibly complex, especially one meant to be among the most efficient cars in the world. By working on this challenging project, Tufts engineers are given an opportunity like none other to develop the knowledge and skills necessary to innovate and gain hands-on experiences. For the last year we have been designing, fabricating, and testing parts working with advanced materials such as high efficiency solar cells, carbon fiber, and ultra-efficient electrical and telemetry systems. We also are in the works of partnering with companies that let us have industry experience with new technology. As we ramp up the manufacturing of our vehicle, students will watch their learning grow along with the car.

Through this, we aim to provide experiences that generate leaders, engineers, and entrepreneurs with the sustainability-forward mindset needed to tackle the world’s most pressing problems. In the process we challenge what people think students are capable of.

Our Inspiration:

In 2002-2009, Tufts had a solar car team known as the Nerd Girls. As far as we know, they were the only all-women’s solar car team in the world. They never raced, but instead used their car to travel across the East Coast to visit schools and communities. Central to their visits were subverting gender stereotypes and inspiring future engineers, regardless of their background. 

The Nerd Girls paved the way in demonstrating that solar cars have the ability to impact hundreds of lives, not just within Tufts but in our surrounding communities. We intend to perform outreach events inspired by the Nerd Girls where we utilize our vehicle to not only raise awareness of sustainable energy, but to give an insight into how even as students, we can move the world forward.

An early design of our aeroshell. Our current design is much improved, with roughly half the drag of this version.

Why we need your help:

We started the project from nothing in December of 2022. From just two students with a vision, we have grown to a large team of students well known across Tufts. We have the support of Tufts’ President, our Engineering Deans, and a host of professors, mentors, and fellow solar car teams. Through thousands of hours of collaborative effort, we have developed a design that we are confident will leave a mark. As we aim to complete construction of our vehicle by May 2024, we need support to generate the infrastructure our team needs to operate and become established including tools, instruments, raw materials, protective equipment and electronics.

If we raise enough, we will be able to compete in the American Solar Challenge in 2024. This competition only happens once every two years. Making it to the start line is critical to the success of our team as it will help build student engagement, and increase visibility in the eyes of possible future sponsors.

Should you choose to support us, know that you are impacting more than just our current students. Your contribution will help us buy reusable materials and equipment that students will use to learn and improve their skills for years to come. You will also make it possible for us to spread our knowledge and passion about solar technology to other schools and communities, positively impacting the lives of the people we meet. You will be bringing us across states and around the world to compete in events that put Tufts alongside the best engineering schools in the world.

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