Iowa State students show off world’s first solar utility vehicle

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RIVERDALE, Iowa — Members of Iowa State University’s competitive student solar car team, known as “PrISUm,” gathered at Arconic in Riverdale earlier today to show off Penumbra, the world’s first solar utility vehicle

What started as a design on paper two years ago, was turned into a completed DOT street legal car.

“When you think about Iowa, you don’t necessarily think about high technology, and as students, in our free time, we were able to produce the world’s first solar utility vehicle,” said Senior Materials Engineering student Matt Goode.

The car tops out at 72 MPH and can cruise at 32 MPH, using pure sunlight for energy.

The engineering students are traveling to all 99 Iowa counties this month to show off their work.

“What we’re really trying to do is inspire future generations to pursue their passions through education, while also trying to change the paradigm of transportation,” said Goode.

The completely solar powered car boasts four seats, cup holders, and even wireless charging for your phone.

For more information on PrISUm or to see when they’ll be coming to a city near you, check out their website at





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