100% renewable energy from the sun
Dawn has been designed from scratch to be lighter, leaner, and more powerful than previous record holders, designed for solar racing competitions which were compromised by pesky rules and regulations - limitations. We're free of the box. This is one of the most efficient road vehicles ever made.
Behind the electronics of Dawn
Using the same solar panels you might find on your roof, we aim to go 65 mph -- without a battery. Consisting of over 600 solar cells, our array generates 1.9 kW of power, which is about the same as a large hairdryer or toaster. With so little power, all of the car's systems must be extremely efficient. Through scaled wind tunnel tests and countless iterations of computer simulations, the team optimized the car’s aerodynamics. The result: only 55 N of drag at 65 mph and a shape people sometimes mistake for a boat!
The mechanics behind it all
Dawn's aeroshell is composed of fiberglass and carbon fiber and required over 35 different CNC molds to manufacture. The entire lower half of the main body is a single 20 foot long part, the largest composite part in Cal Poly’s history. The vehicle’s primary structure is composed of carbon fiber and Nomex honeycomb sandwich panels. This construction makes the vehicle strong but lightweight, totaling less than 500 pounds. High-performance racing bicycle wheels reduce rolling resistance and facilitate tight packaging and unique suspension designs. Our custom in-hub motor eliminates power transmission losses and operates at an incredible 98% efficiency.