Gallery: Infinium Sun Car Races Ahead

A crowd admires U-M's 2009 solar car, the Infinium
A crowd gathers around the Infinium, U-M's 2009 solar car, after its unveiling June 5 at Henry Ford Museum. Photo by Bob Ramey

In a converted warehouse on the outskirts of Ann Arbor (Michigan’s other city), swarms of brilliant students harness conceptual, terrestrial and solar power for unusually racy, million-dollar road trips. Enter the Infinium 2009 solar car. Strips of photovoltaic panels (the space-age, gallium-arsenide kind) absorb the sun’s energy along a sleek and light carbon-fiber shell, and a 16-hp electric motor in one of its three wheels propels the 600-lb coupe up to 90 miles per hour and 98 percent efficiency. Awesome aerodynamics and innovative innards apparently allow the Infinium a driving range of 200 to 300 miles without any sunlight at all.

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