The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2015 will highlight sustainable transportation with the addition of Commuting as one of its 10 contests.
Designed to demonstrate how clean energy can power not only houses but also lifestyles, the Commuting Contest challenges student teams to operate an electric vehicle charged from their house solar electric system.
“For Solar Decathlon 2015, we want to challenge teams further by requiring them to power not only their energy-efficient house but also their transportation,” said Richard King, Solar Decathlon director. “The addition of the Commuting Contest expands the competition from a house to a household and demonstrates the power of clean energy lifestyles in and beyond the home.”
For 2015, the multidisciplinary decathletes must design with a car in mind and integrate the charging system into the house. These vehicle-to-building integration solutions must be aesthetically pleasing, functional, and convenient. Full contest points are awarded for driving 25 miles or more in two hours or less each day during the competition. Reduced points are earned for driving less than the required number of miles. All driving will take place on public roadways in or around the Orange County Great Park in Irvine, California.
Vehicles used in the 2015 Commuting Contest must be fully electric—representing zero-emission transportation to complement the net-zero houses. All vehicles used by the teams must be commercially available; have four wheels; seat at least two individuals side by side; and be licensed, registered, and insured.
The addition of the Commuting Contest provides terrific new sponsorship opportunities for electric vehicle and charging equipment manufacturers and distributors. If your company or dealership is interested in sponsoring one or more student teams by providing an electric vehicle or charging equipment, please contact the teams directly. If you would like to become an event sponsor and partner with the Department of Energy in the award-winning Solar Decathlon, please contact Richard King. See the Sponsor section of our website for additional information.
Carol Laurie is the communications manager of the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon.