Introducing RPI’s First All-Electric Car: The Photon

by Michael Mullaney on March 28, 2011

Forget all about KITT, Doc Brown’s DeLorean, and Herbie the Love Bug. There’s a new car in town: Photon.

Ain’t it pretty?

Photon is the result of ample hard work and dedication from the Rensselaer Solar Racing Team. The student club will roll out the car Wednesday at 2 p.m. on the ’86 Field.

Next month, the Solar Racing Team will take Photon to race against other all-electric student-built vehicles in the 2011 Shell Eco-Marathon. In Texas, they’ll race the car as an all-electric vehicle, undergoing different endurance and performance tests. A key metric they’ll be judged on is Photon’s km/kWh – kilometers per kilowatt hour, the all-electric vehicle equivalent of mpg or km/L for gas vehicles.

Photon was originally a novel kit car that the team converted into an all-electric vehicle. Following the Eco-Marathon competition, they’ll work to convert Photon into a solar-powered car. The goal is to race Photon as a solar vehicle in the North American Solar Challenge and the cross-Australia World Solar Challenge, and the team is in the process of raising funds to make that happen.

The above and below photos are taken from the team’s awesome photo gallery here. Also, at the bottom of this post, check out the video of Solar Racing Team student leaders Jessica Marshall and Josh Kessler talking to Channel 13 about Photon.