The Queen's University Solar Vehicle team has designed, built and raced nine cars, shown below. Click the timeline below to view details on our past cars and results, or continue reading for a brief summary of the team's history.  The team is currently building our tenth vehicle, to be raced in the North American Solar Challenge and the World Solar Challenge in 2005. 

The team started in 1988 with our first car Photomoto. This car was designed for, and won, the Great Canadian Solar Challenge. Since then six other cars have been built and raced all over the world with stunning results. Our most recent car, Gemini, came in 5th at the American Solar Challenge 2003 (Chicago, IL to Barstow, CA). The team finished in 4th place at the World Solar Car Challenge '03 (Darwin to Adelaide).  In both races we were the first two-person car to cross each finish line, and were the only Canadian entrant into the World Solar Challenge.



Queens University Solar Car "Gemini", 2003
American Solar Challenge



The team is made up of about one hundred undergraduate students from Queen's University at Kingston, mainly from the Faculty of Applied Science, the Faculty of Arts & Science, and the School of Business. Students perform all the tasks related to the team from engineering design and construction, to team administration and public education. It is a valuable opportunity that provides students with experience in engineering, management and teamwork preparing them for the workforce of today and tomorrow.


Queen's University's Ninth Solar Vehicle

Completed: Summer 2003

Forever filling up with petrol?  Let's face it, nearly everyone wants a solar car.   However, at present, even fancy solar cars, ones (you see in the solar car races) are transferring the energy from sunlight to road-wheels about the same power that it takes to run a hair dryer.  That's all, About 1500 watts.  A little disappointed?  Don't be.  As with formula one racing, the competition is fast improving the technology.  That's what it is all about.

Back in July of 2000, The Queen's University RADIANCE  bimbled its way across Canada, visiting most major cities on its way. 'Radiance'  started from Nova Scotia July 1, 2000 and arrived in Vancouver, B.C. July 29th. The Queens' University Solar Car team set the Guinness world land distance record for solar vehicles.  Using only 1,000 watts of power, they drove 7044 km (4377 miles), at an average speed of 80 km/h (50 mph) . 'Radiance' took second place at both Sunrayce '99 and the 1999 World Solar Challenge in Australia.

September 8, 2003: WSC Fundraising Drive in Full Swing

So what next for Queen's University.  Well, the sleek looking beastie below is Gemini.  Last year the team strived hard to raise funds for the World Solar Challenge 2003.  They needed to raise $45,000  Those listed below contributed magnificently and deserve a special mention:-

Faculty of Engineering , the Engineering Society, and the Applied Science Class of '44: $10,000

Veltom Sales and Rentals Ltd.: $5,000

ITLMA Foundation: $5,000

Department of Physics: $2,000

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering: $5000

Suncor: $1,000

If you are interested in sponsoring Queen's University they'd love to hear from you!  Please email the team at  solar@engsoc.queensu.ca or call at 613-533-6682 and ask for a member of our sponsorship crew (Andrew Smith, Kimberly Farnell, or Andrew Mason).

American Solar Challenge 2003 Journal

The Queen's Solar Vehicle Team officially holds the record for
"Furthest Distance Traveled by a Solar Car in One Journey" in the
2002 Guinness Book of World Records
(Search for "solar car" to find our record).



Team News:

July 24, 2003: Press Release & Pictures!

The team's latest press release is now available here. Pictures from the last day of the race are also now available here.

July 23, 2003: Gemini top two-seater in ASC!

Gemini raced to a 7th place finish overall today in the American Solar Challenge. The team finished the gruelling 3700 km race as the top two-seater car and second Canadian entry, despite many early setbacks. The team is very proud of Gemini's performance and is looking forward to some well deserved rest over the next couple of days. To congratulate the team on a strong race, please sign our guestbook.

Journal entries with lots of pictures and videos have now been updated for the 17th - 22nd. To view them, click here.

July 22, 2003: Gemini blazes into Barstow, CA

Gemini finished the third stage of the ASC yesterday in Barstow, CA. The team was the sixth one into the checkpoint and currently sits in 7th place overall. Team members are taking a well-deserved day off before the beginning of the final stage of the race, which runs from Barstow to Claremont tomorrow. Racing begins at 12 PM (EST), so stay peeled to our site and the ASC website. For a press release on finishing the third stage of the race, click here.

July 18, 2003: Gemini reaches Albuquerque, NM.

Gemini reached the end of the second stage of the ASC mid-morning today. It was the fourth car to pull into the stop and is currently sitting in eighth place. Read the press release here.

July 18, 2003: New pics up.

Team pictures from July 10 and have been posted in the ASC journal area.

July 17, 2003: Up to the minute!

Queen's is the second team to reach Amarillo, TX, the fifth checkpoint on the race route. The team continues to chip away at the time gap between itself and seventh place.

July 16, 2003: Gemini jumps to 8th place in ASC.

After a couple of rough days of mechanical problems and blown tires, Gemini finally had a day of problem free raycing yesterday at the ASC. The team started the 2nd stage of the race in Rolla, Mo in 12th place, but had a tremendous leg on route to the checkpoint in Joplin, MO, 190 miles away. The team spent the night west of Tulsa, OK and is looking to pass through the next checkpoint in Edmond, OK today. Press release available here.

July 12, 2003: Gemini qualifies for ASC!

Gemini completed the final stage of qualification late yesterday afternoon. The QSVT's car drove the required 140 miles on a test track, proving its roadworthiness for ASC officials. Gemini will be one of only two two-seater cars in the race (the other being from Stanford), as two other two-seater cars from Michigan and Georgia Tech failed to qualify for the race. Follow Gemini's progress in our daily journals and on the ASC website.

July 10, 2003: Gemini good to race in ASC!

Gemini passed the final of its safety tests in scrutineering yesterday. The team now only has to complete its qualifying time trial, which determines the car's poll position, tomorrow in Burlington, WIS.

July 4 , 2003: Queen's Team Prepares for ASC 2003

Gemini, and the Queen's team are preparing to leave for Chicago, IL for the start of the American Solar Challenge 2003. Wish us luck!

June 24, 2003: Gemini in Toronto!

Gemini was unveiled to an excited crowd of students, media and supporters today at an event sponsored by Ontario Power Generation. The even took place in High Park in Toronto, and luck media were able to take a ride as a passenger in the car!  Click HERE for pictures!

June 20, 2003: Gemini Unveiled!

It was a beautiful summer day as Gemini, Queen's University's ninth solar car was unveiled today at the University Club at Queen's. The Hon. Peter Miliken, Associate Dean Moore of the Faculty of Applied Science and Susan Hayes, Project Manager of the QSVT spoke about the commitment of the students over the past two years, and the upcoming races.

"The staff and team have devoted countless hours, half of them in the middle of the night", said Susan. "We are all very excited about the American Solar Challenge in two weeks and the World Solar Challenge in October."

Sponsors and the supporters of the QSVT were in attendance were able to get up close to the car and ask questions of the team members. For pictures of the event, click HERE.

America Solar Challenge
"With students behind the wheels, the high-tech and high-efficiency solar cars will cross the Great Plains, climb the Rocky Mountains, dart over the great American desert, and dash across the finish line in Southern California."

Winston Solar Challenge
["...is an international education program designed for teaching high school students the physics and technology associated with a road worthy solar car." Check out their informative History of Solar Car Racing.


Mirage 2001
Radiance 1999
Kinetic 1998
Dawn Treader 1997
Quest 1995
Sunquest II 1993
Sunquest 1990
Photomoto 1988



June 12, 2003: A big THANK YOU to some more supporters:

Silver (Returning)




Friends (Returning)


May 16, 2003: Thanks to even more sponsors!

Silver (Returning)


Congratulations from the Speedace team to Queen's University for advancing the cause of clean, sustainable, electric transportation.



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Joining the Team | Race Journals | Races | Donate | Photographs | Links | Forum






Aristotle Uni of Thessaloniki, Helios


Faculty of Engineering

Arizona Solar Racing Team - USA

Arizona Solar Racing Team

Auburn University

Sol of Auburn

Sol of Auburn

Aurora Team, Australia


Aurora Vehicle Association

Bochum Solar Car Team

Das SolarCar der Fachhochschule

California Poly S University

SLO Burn  Sidewinder

San Luis Obispo

Clarkson Uni Solar Car Team, USA

The Solar Knights

Delft University - Holland

NUNA I & II 2003

Dell Winston School

The Hunter

Solar Car Challenge

Desert Rose, Northern Territory Uni


Drexel SunDragon Home Page

École de technologie supérieure Quebec

Eclipse V (5)

Éclipse Vehicular Solaire 

École Polytechnique de Montréal


Eko-Auto  Poland


Electron Analytic Corporation

Dark Horse

EAC Skunkworks

George Washington University

George Washington Uni Solar Car

Georgia Institute of Technology

Solar Jackets

Solar Jackets

Heliodet, Germany


Heliodet, Solar Car Team

Helios - Lille, France

Hélios IV

Hautes Etudes d'Ingénieur

Honda Car Company


Illinois State University

Surya, Ratha, Mercury

Illinois State University Team

Iowa State University


Team PrISUm

Jonasun  Japan


Solar Car Paviion

Kansas State University


Solar Car Racing Team

Los Altos Academy of Engineering

Los Altos Solar Car Team

Massachusetts Institute of Technology



McGill University Monteal, Canada


Team iSun

McMaster University


McMaster Uni Solar Car Project

Messiah College Grantham, Penns

Genesis II

Genesis II Solar Racing Team

Michigan State University


Solar Racing Team

Michigan Technological University

Solar Car Team

Minnesota S Uni-Mankato/Winona S Uni

Minnesota Solar Car Team

North Dakota State University

The Double Deuce

Sunsetters - Solar Race Team

Northwestern University


Northwestern University

Nuon Solar Team, Netherlands

Nuon 3

Het Nuon Solar Team

Osaka Sangyo University, Japan

OSU model S

Solar Car Team

Prairie View A&M University


Sun Panthers

Principia College

RA 6

Principia College Solar Car Team

Purdue University


Purdue University Solar Racing

Queen's University Canada

Radiance  Gemini

Queen's Solar Vehicle Team

Red River College 

Red River Raycer

Red River College Solar Car Team

Rice University

Rice University

Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

Rose-Hulman Solar Car Team

Southern Illinois Uni Edwardsville

Cougar Cruiser

Southern Illinois University

South Bank University, UK

Mad Dog

South Bank Mad Dog Team

South Dakota School Mines & Tech

Solar Motion

South Dakota Solar Motion Team

Southern Taiwan University Tech

Southern Taiwan Solar Team

Stanford University


Stanford Solar Car Project

Tamagawa University - Japan

Tamagawa Solar Challenge Project

Team Futura, Italy


Team Futura

Team SunLake - Japan

Phaethon model

Team SunLake TOYOBO

Texas A&M University

Columbia Sunraycer

Texas A&M Motorsports Team

The Power of One  - Toronto


The Xof1 solar car team

Tufts University


Nerd Girls

University of Alberta

University of Alberta Team

University of Arizona


Solar Racing Team

University of Calgary


UC Calgary Solar Car Team

University of California-Berkeley


California Calsol Team

University of Kansas

Solution, CATalyst

KSU Solar Car Racing Team

University of Kentucky

Gato del Sol II

Solar Car Team

University of Massachusetts 

Spirit of Mass 413

Lowell Solar Racing Team

University of Michigan


University of Michigan

University of Minnesota

Borealis III

U of M Solar Vehicle Project

University of Missouri Columbia

Suntiger VI

The Mizzou Solar Car Project

University of Missouri Rolla

Solar Miner V

Solar Minor Car Team 

University of North Dakota

Subzero 3

Team SubZero

University of Ontario Institute of Tech

UOI Solar Vehicle Team

Uni of New South Wales SCR Team

UNSW Sunswift III

New South Wales SCR Team

University of Patras, Hermes

Solar Car Team

University of Pennsylvania


Penn Solar Racing

University of Queensland


Queensland Solar Team

University of South Australia


SA Solar Car Consortium

University of Texas at Austin

Solar Steer

Solar Vehicles Team

University of Texas at El Paso



University of Toronto

Blue Sky

Blue Sky Solar Racing

University of Toulouse


Heliotrope Solar Car Team

University of Utah 


Vehicle Design Team Utah

University of Virginia


UVa Solar Car Team

University of Waterloo

Midnight Sun VIII

Midnight Sun Solar Race Team

University of Western Ontario


Sunstang USP Solar Car Team

USP Solar Car Team

USP Solar Car Team

Western Michigan University

Sunseeker 05

W Michigan Solar Car Team

Yale University

The John Lee

Team Lux












American Solar Challenge

American Tour de Sol

American World Solar Challenge - Formula Sun          

Australian World Solar Challenge

Canadian Solar Discovery Challenge

Dream Cup Solar Car Race Suzuka 2003 - Japan

Japanese World Solar Car Rallye

North American Solar Challenge

Phaethon 2004

Solar Express - Solar Bike Race


SunRace 2003 - Australia

World Solar Car Rally - Japan

World Solar Rallye - Japan




During these competitions, students learn about solar panels, electric motors, electronics, vehicle chassis, bodywork, aerodynamics, suspension, batteries and how to solve practical problems during the design process, while working as a team.  It's demanding stuff and more fun that laying in bed watching TV, where individuals may seek inspiration, but achieve very little.








1. Chassis - and seating

2. Mechanics - suspension, steering, brakes

3. Motor and drive train

4. Motor controller

5. Solar Array - usually part of body

6. Batteries or fuel cells

7. Electrical System - and instruments

8. Driver Controls - switches, lighting, etc

9. Bodywork - Screen, etc









A taste for adventure

Solar Cola - a healthier alternative




The content of this website is copyright © and design copyright 1991 and 2006 Electrick Publications and NJK. All rights reserved. The bluebird logo and name Bluebird and Blue Max are trademarks.  The BE2 and BE3 vehicle shape and configuration are registered designs ®.  All other trademarks are hereby acknowledged.  Max Energy Limited is an environmental educational charity.