LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) – The American Solar Challenge, a competition featuring eight teams from schools such as Minnesota, Michigan, and Iowa State made a pit-stop at Western Technical College on Sunday.
All participants, who are college students, make their own solar-powered vehicles, and drivers travel from Austin, Texas to Minneapolis—a 1,700 mile trip in just eight days. The long trip and the unique vehicles have drivers facing difficult challenges.
"Unpredictable nature of weather is something that all these teams have to contend with. They have to contend with real traffic conditions, so all your stop lights, stop signs, slow drivers, things that frustrate you and I on the road, they are having to do it while trying to run on solar power and obviously be energy efficient,” Event Coordinator Gail Lueck said.
All eight teams leave La Crosse Monday morning and will finish the race on the University of Minnesota campus. Currently, the University of Michigan is in the lead.