SUNY New Paltz Solar Car Team to compete in American Solar Challenge Road Race

NEW PALTZ – The State University of New York at New Paltz’ Solar Car Team will be one of 18 national teams competing in the 2012 American Solar Challenge (ASC) Road Race from July 14 to July 21. The eight-day race covers a 1,650 mile plus route passing through eight states that border the Great Lakes. It starts in Rochester, N.Y., and ends in St. Paul, Minn.

The New Paltz team, under the direction of advisor Mike Otis, a professor in the electrical and computer engineering program, is comprised of six members. They are: Andre Candido ’14 (electrical engineering) from New Rochelle, N.Y.; Kira Cozzolino ’12 (business administration) from New Paltz, N.Y.; Julian de la Rua ’12 (electrical engineering) from Mar Del Plata, Argentina; Colin Morrell ’12 (physics) Huntington Station, N.Y.; Luke Stover ’12 (adolescence education: physics) from Middletown, N.Y.; and Ray Williams ’12 (physics) from Kerhonkson, N.Y. The team is also advised by Lee Cabe of Newburgh, a retired physics teacher who has over 20 years of experience in building championship caliber solar powered vehicles.

In order to compete in the ASC, the team must design and fabricate a car that runs completely, and efficiently, on solar electricity only. The frame must be light weight, but also road worthy. The car’s first test is the Formula Sun Grand Prix, a three-day track race being held at the Monticello Motor Club track in Monticello, N.Y. from July 10-12. During this event, the New Paltz solar car will be “scrutineered” by judges who will be checking safety features and the road worthiness of the vehicle. Then, a qualifying race will be held for teams that have entered the ASC Road Race.

This is the third time the New Paltz Solar Car Team has competed in the ASC with its Sun Hawk Solar Car. In 2009, the team finished six out of 11 teams in the Formula Sun Grand Prix track race. In 2010, the team finished seventh out of 22 teams in the track race and eighth out of 18 teams in the ASC cross country race.

Founded in 2007, the New Paltz Solar Car Team is sponsored by the SUNY New Paltz Student Association, the School of Science & Engineering, and The Solar Energy Consortium. Students are responsible for securing funds, raising renewable energy awareness, and researching and developing solar powered electric vehicles targeted for competition at the American Solar Challenge, Formula Sun Grand Prix, and World Solar Challenge races. For more information about the New Paltz Solar Car Team, visit

According to its website, the purpose of the ASC, hosted by the Innovators Educational Foundation, is to promote and celebrate educational excellence and engineering creativity. It champions the creative integration of technical and scientific expertise across a range of exciting disciplines. The missions of the ASC are: to support and encourage bright young minds to succeed in the fields of engineering, the sciences, mathematics, business, in multi-disciplined experiential learning, and in subsequent careers; and to create public awareness and enthusiasm, both for education excellence and engineering creativity itself, and for the technologies and practices that emerge from that excellence.