Aluminum helps create solar car
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
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.”