Canada’s First Two-seater Solar Car Unveiled

The Queen’s University Solar Vehicle Team and its lead sponsor, Ontario Power Generation, unveiled the first Canadian two-seater solar powered vehicle at the Grenadier Restaurant and Café in High Park. At the event, for the first time in Canada, members of media were able to ride in a solar vehicle, provided the passengers did not exceed the maximum restrictions of 5-foot 7-inches in height and 150 pounds in weight.

Toronto, Ontario – July 17, 2003 [SolarAccess.com] Afterwards the team headed off to Chicago, Illinois for the American Solar Challenge, which is the solar vehicle race that currently traveling along Route 66. The race, which began on July 13, is scheduled to end near Los Angeles, California on July 23. As off July 16, the Queen’s University car was placed sixth out of the 20 total entries. An updated race standings link is included at the end of this story. The members of the Queen’s University Solar Vehicle Team include John Baird, Ontario Minister of Energy, Government House Leader, Nancy Cowan, Director of Corporate Strategic Planning, Ontario Power Generation, and students from High Park Alternative School and Rose Avenue Public School. The Queen’s Solar Vehicle, named “Gemini,” is a product of the latest evolution of the technology. The solar vehicle was in production for over two years from concept to completion. Gemini was designed for maximum energy efficiency, and is aerodynamically engineered to be highly competitive, said the developers. Previous generations of the Queen’s University Solar Vehicle won numerous awards and placed high in international races. In July 2000, the Queen’s University team set a Guinness World Record for the longest distance traveled by a solar car, driving from Halifax to Vancouver.The Queen’s University Solar Vehicle team has designed, built and raced nine cars since it started in 1988. Their first car, named “Photomoto,” was designed for, and won, the Great Canadian Solar Challenge. Since then six other cars have been built and raced all over the world. The team is made up of about one hundred undergraduate students from Queen’s University at Kingston, mainly from the Faculty of Applied Science, the Faculty of Arts & Science, and the School of Business. Students perform all the tasks related to the team from engineering design and construction, to team administration and public education. Ontario Power Generation (OPG) is sponsoring the team as part of their efforts to achieve their stated goal of being a premier North American energy company, while operating in a safe, open and environmentally responsible manner. OPG has sponsored of the Queen’s University Solar Team since 2000 and sponsors several of Ontario’s solar cars, designed and built by university students.

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