University of California, Berkeley
How many times has your team participated in the event?
Twice — once in 1996 in a joint venture with Stanford, and once in 2011 on our own.
What is the design philosophy behind your solar car?
Tachyon is CalSol's first-ever Cruiser class vehicle, and with that comes a substantial shift in design philosophy. With Tachyon, we aimed to create our first practical solar car, incorporating plush seats, a smoother suspension, and a much more spacious interior than any of our previous vehicles. At the same time, we wanted to focus on creating a highly efficient vehicle, so we included CalSol's first carbon fiber monocoque chassis, a massive center tunnel for frontal area minimization, and incorporation of our seats directly into the bulkheads.
What is unique about your solar car?
Among other reasons, our solar car is unique because it is the most comfortable car CalSol has ever built, is wider than a Hummer H2, and has one of the biggest "trunk" compartments you've ever seen.
Why does your team value participating in the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge?
We value participating in the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge because it's the ultimate test for a solar car team. We've been working on Tachyon for a long time, and we're extremely excited to show the world what the car and the team are capable of. Our previous World Solar Challenges have been passed down as legends to newer members, and we're excited to continue CalSol's legacy in 2019!
What is the one thing your team is looking forward to when you visit Australia?
We can't wait to cross the outback, rack up some miles on Tachyon, and see some amazing solar cars! More than anything, though, we're excited to meet up with the North American teams we know well and all other members of the solar car community from around the world.