Photograph provided by American Solar Challenge

     Since 1987, the American Solar Challenge has hosted high school and college teams in a race of strategy, endurance, and cutting edge engineering. Participants must design and build a battery-electric vehicle (BEV) that is powered entirely by solar cells embedded on the vehicle. The endurance race covers 1,700+ miles over several days in a Tour de France style multistage race. 

Solar car team’s technologies are often ahead of their time in term of looking at next best generation of batteries, best solar panels, best motors and converters, things like that.
— J.B. Straubel, Co-Founder Tesla Motors