August 2005

Kaiser Aluminum helps create solar car

Foothill Ranch, CA— Kaiser Aluminum sheet, plate, and extrusions serve as key components for a solar-powered vehicle christened “Momentum” that is competing in the 2005 North American Solar Challenge Race that began in Austin, Texas and concluded 2,500 miles later in Calgary, Alberta on July 27.

Through its contributions of cash and materials, Kaiser serves as a “gold level” sponsor of the University of Michigan Solar Car Team, which built and is racing Momentum.

The Michigan Solar Car Team is a non-profit, student-run organization whose purpose is to design, finance, build and race a solar powered vehicle in several competitions across the U.S. and the world.

Momentum is a lightweight, low-power vehicle designed and built with a single purpose in mind — racing. It has limited seating (for one), very little cargo capacity, can only be driven during the day, and has a top speed of about 65 miles per hour. Despite those kinds of present-day limitations, momentum and other solar cars offer an excellent opportunity to develop future technologies that can be applied to practical applications.

The race is open to any North American college or university, and approximately 20 teams fielded vehicles for this year’s Solar Challenge.

Theodore DiGuiseppe, Kaiser Aluminum’s vice president and general manager of automotive and industrial products, stated, “The team shares our view of the innovative things that can be done with aluminum in ground transportation applications. Kaiser has long been a key supplier to the automotive industry, and our support of this program is just a natural for us.”

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