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Solar Car Engineering Student Group

About Us:

We are the UCI Solar Car Project (ZotSun), a student-run interdisciplinary team of 50 undergraduates from the University of California, Irvine with a passion for innovative engineering and sustainability. Our mission is to revolutionize zero-emission transportation. We are building a solar car to compete in the Formula Sun Grand Prix of 2025, a race designed to determine the most efficient and aerodynamic solar-powered vehicles.

Figure 1. Solar Car Group Photo


Our Progress:

We began in 2016 with an extracurricular club of 17 students. We had no prior knowledge but shared an ambition to impact the world and an enthusiasm for renewable energy. Our alumni have worked tenaciously engineering our prototype EV, which will be used for performance testing and additional prototyping. This past quarter, our mechanical and electrical teams have been diligently working on the design of our first competition car, also named ZotSun.

Our Goal:

Building a high-performance solar car is one challenging feat. We need your support to secure the resources necessary to make our countless hours of dedicated work come to life. Our goal is to participate in the 2025 Formula Sun Grand Prix, a lap race where each solar car attempts to complete as many laps as possible across three days, and the 2026 American Solar Challenge, a 2,000-mile race across the United States. These competitions will challenge our engineering skills and creativity while showcasing the boundless potential of solar technology.


Figure 2. Formula Sun Grand Prix


Your contribution, no matter the size, brings us closer to the finish line. We will use these donations to acquire high-grade materials and specialized tools:

  • High-efficiency solar technology: State-of-the-art cells act as the heart of our car. Its high efficiency allows our car to propel us forward.
  • Aerodynamic and lightweight materials: Every gram matters in a solar car race. We need the best materials to maximize our efficiency.
  • Specialized tools and equipment: From angle grinders to soldering irons, we will need a variety of tools to bring our design to life.
  • Competition fees and travel expenses: Racing across the country takes resources, and your support will take us to the starting line.


Your donation not only helps fulfill our dream of bringing UCI to the solar car racing stage but is an investment towards the next generation of engineers who are trailblazing a new and brighter tomorrow!

All contributions make a difference. You can also help by sharing our stories with family and friends or following us on social media.

Visit our website https://www.ucisolarcar.org/ to learn more!

Last But Not Least!
Congratulations to Tse-Wen Chen, a current student, whose gift to Solar Car Engineering Student Group won the Last But Not Least Challenge! With your gift Tse-Wen, $1000 in bonus funds will be awarded to Solar Car Engineering, thanks to the generous support of UCI Foundation trustees Gary and Melanie Singer!
Samueli School David Dimas 50 Gifts for $30,000 Challenge
Help us unlock a generous $30,000 gift supporting the Faculty Research Labs at the Samueli School of Engineering from Anteater Engineering faculty, David Dimas, by being one of the first 50 donors to the School!
50 / 50 Gifts
Samueli School Gregory and Lianne Brewer 100 Donors for $80,000 Challenge
Help us unlock a generous $80,000 gift supporting the Faculty Research Labs at the Samueli School of Engineering from Anteater Engineering faculty, Gregory and Lianne Brewer, by being one of the first 100 individual donors to any Giving Day initiative at the School!
100 / 100 Donors
Parent Power Hour 25 gift Challenge
Power Hour? How about a power 15-minutes?! Congratulations to our UCI Parent and Family community for coming together in record time to unlock $10,000 in support for Campus Organizations and Volunteer Programs! Keep the momentum going and support some of our outstanding matches and challenges below!
25 / 25 Gifts
1965 Challenge
Congratulations to Hilary Lapks! Your gift to Men's Volleyball just unlocked $1,965 in bonus funds for the program!
1,965 / 1,965 Gifts
Early Bird Challenge
Congratulations to Darcy Wilson-Jones (LGBT Resource Center), Katy Young (School of the Arts/Dance), Charlton Lee (Social Sciences Student Awards) and Rick Emerling (UCI Retirees Association Scholarships), for winning our Early Bird Challenge! $500 in bonus funds will be added to each of these funds in your honor!
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Questions? See our FAQ.

Or you can contact us at james.yokelle@uci.edu.