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How did SD Tech get involved?

In January 1995 the U.S. Department of Energy sent out a request for participants in SunRayce 95. Thirty schools would be selected from those responding and would be awarded a "seeded" entry in the race. The remaining 10 racing slots would be awarded to the 10 vehicles that covered the greatest distance at a pre-race qualifier.

SD Tech was one of 65 schools that responded with proposals indicating how they would design, build, test and race a solar powered vehicle. A major part of the proposal writing process included establishing a realistic budget for the project. Of the 65 responses, 30 schools had previous experience in SunRayce and/or the World Solar Challenge (held triennially in Australia). In other words, to become a seeded team, SD Tech needed to displace a team with previous experience.

A total of 6 new (rookie) teams were awarded seeded entries in SunRayce 95 and SD Tech was one of them. This is a major accomplishment in itself, especially when considering some of the schools that were not awarded including MIT, Cal Poly Pomona, UT Austin, Michigan Tech, etc. In addition to schools from the continental United States, SunRayce has teams from Canada, Hawaii, Mexico and Puerto Rico.

In the fall of 2003, the AFV was formed when SDSM&T decided to start work on making a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle.  This vehicle was going to be made to run in the American Solar Challenge in the Summer of 2007 as an exhibition entry.  Unfortunately the American Solar Challenge was scrapped in the Fall of 2006.

In the fall of 2006 the AFV team got together to discuss where they wanted the team to go.  After careful mitigation, the team decided to change focus and enter into the Society of Automotive Engineers' Clean Snowmobile Challenge.  This competition had a Zero Emission class that suits the direction that the AFV team had set forth in its previous years.  These goals were to be on the cutting edge of technology in building energy efficient and environmentally friendly vehicles.


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