The University of Texas Solar Vehicle Team was founded in 1990 as the Longhorn Solar Car Racing Team. Recently, we merged with UT SAE International and have continued racing as the Solar Vehicle Team. The team have built a total of five cars of varying designs and constructed of different materials.
After 5 years of racing, TexSun competed for the last time at Formula Sun Grand Prix 2017. TexSun will continue to contribute to the team and the STEM field at outreach events and university functions for the foreseeable future.
Samsung Solorean was the 4th car produced by the Solar Vehicle Team and was the successor to Solar Steer. It was named for the highest supporting partner, Samsung Austin Semiconductor, and for the iconic DeLorean in “Back to the Future”.
Design began at the beginning of 2007 and the build finished in June 2008. Solorean was originally built to compete in the 2008 North American Solar Challenge, but it was not completed in time. Its maiden race was the Formula Sun Grand Prix in 2009, held in Cresson, TX. Solorean also competed in the 2010 Formula Sun Grand Prix and the 2010 American Solar Challenge.
Solar Steer was the 3rd car produced by the Solar Vehicle Team and was the successor to Texas Native Sun II. It was named with our own Texas Longhorn in mind.
It was the first of our vehicles to use Lithium-Ion batteries and a carbon fiber body.
Solar Steer raced in the North American Solar Challenge in 2005.
Texas Native Sun II
Texas Native Sun II was the 2nd car produced by the Solar Vehicle Team. It was named as the second iteration of Texas Native Sun.
It utilized lead-acid batteries and a home-made hub motor, and controller. Texas Native Sun II also was a 2 person solar car that raced in the Tour de Sol in 1996.
Texas Native Sun I
Texas Native Sun was the 1st car ever produced by the Solar Vehicle Team. It was named in reference to the Texas sun, and the Summer competitions it would race in.
It utilized Graphite/epoxy composite monocoque construction and used Nickel-Hydrogen satellite batteries. The mold was provided by our friends at Bell Helicopter and half of the funding was provided by Young and Pratt.
Texas Native Sun raced in Sunrayce in 1990 and 1993, and California Clean Air Race in 1991.