Solar car stalls in GH

(UPDATE: Tuesday 11 a.m.) Members of the University of Michigan solar car team are thankful they experienced a breakdown during their mock race on Monday.
Becky Vargo
Jul 23, 2013

“The first two days were amazing – nice sun and weather,” said Pavan Naik, an industrial engineering junior from Northern Virginia, who is the business and development manager for the team. “But this is why we do this.”

The 21-student team left Ann Arbor on Saturday for a 1,200-mile test run through parts of Ohio, Indiana and Michigan. Naik said the plan was to be in Petoskey on Monday night, but work on the car continued late Monday and departure from the Grand Haven area was rescheduled for 8 this morning.

Project and race manager Eric Hausman, a junior from Beverly Hills, said some technical issues are what they wanted to have happen.

"We’d rather have issues now," he said. "Then we’re prepared to take care of the stuff for the race.”

See more on the car and the team at

The team planned to trailer the car from their camp at Lakeshore Baptist Church in Grand Haven Township to the area of Hickory Street and 174th Avenue in Spring Lake Township for a restart. This is where they stopped for the day on Sunday.

Cam Herringshaw, a junior from Shelby Township, said the objective of the trip is to break-in the car “and get the team used to the days on the road.” The mock race is used to test the car on its first long-range drive, he said, as well as stress-test the team and the team's procedures.

Students in a variety of engineering majors at the University of Michigan have been designing the car for more than a year in preparation for the bi-annual World Solar Challenge, which starts Oct. 6 in Darwin, Australia. This is an 1,800-mile race.

UPDATE: The solar car left at 8 a.m. today from the intersection of 174th Avenue and Hickory Street in Spring Lake Township, traveling north on 174th Avenue. 

As of about 10:30 this morning they were driving through Manistee.

Hausman said the car would be traveling close to the speed limit today. They have had the car get up to a speed of about 65 miles per hour.

To read more of this story, see today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.



Sure did see it. The trailer was in our shop parking lot this morning.


They will get it going this fall as soon as they get an illegal immigrant to hot wire it...


Probably needs to be attached to a windmill. This mishap should ensure they will get some money from Obama's DOE or EPA - if it don't work, subsidize it.


Hey now, failures can happen. Just ask the following companies. I do find it ironic that a solar vehicle is trailered in for repairs by a combustionable engine vehicle!

*AMONIX SOLAR: Solar manufacturing plant in North Las Vegas, subsidized by more than $20 million in federal tax credits and grants given by Obama Administration, has closed its 214,000 square foot facility a year after it opened.

*ABOUND SOLAR: Abound Solar received a $400 million loan guarantee from Barack Obama announced in June, 2012 that it would file for bankruptcy.

*BEACON POWER: Beacon Power Corp filed for bankruptcy Oct 2011 just a year after Obama approved $43 million loan Government loan guarantee

*ECOTALITY ENERGY: Ecotality, a San Francisco green-tech company that never earned any money on the verge of bankruptcy after receiving roughly $115 million in two loan guarantees from the Obama administration.

*A123 SOLAR: A123 received $279 million from taxpayers thanks to President Obama’s Department of Energy loan guarantees and after Solyndra bankruptcy is getting another $500M from Obama and it has lost $400M

AZURE DYNAMICS: Azure Dynamics files for bankruptcy in June 2012 received over 50 million in Obama “Stimulus” monies.

*EVERGREEN SOLAR: Evergreen Solar received $527 Million in Taxpayer money from the Obama Administration. Filed for bankruptcy in 2011.

ENER1: Ener1 received more than $100 million in government funding from the Obama administration filed for bankruptcy January 2012

*SOLYNDRA: President Obama authorized $500,000,000 in taxpayer money and Solyndra shut its doors and laid off 1100 workers in August 2011 After Billions in Losses due to failure to make a solar product that could work.

....can I stop now, my fingers hurt?


LOL, dyank. Go put those fingers in the sunlight it will soothe them;-)


Running out of energy, d? Guess I'll have to subsidize you.

You need to look at the big picture. In 2011, globally, fossil fuel subsidies by all governments combined $523 billion; for renewables, $88 billion. US nuclear subsidies have been massive for decades, and nuclear plants literally could not operate without subsidies.

Private and public investment in energy sources is enormous - your list is a very small fraction of the money gained and lost. There will be failures and money lost, it's all part of the deal.


Alrighty then, lets look at the big picture. Using your numbers: 83.17% of global govt. subsidies went to fossil fuels and 16.83% went down the drain....I mean, into green energy (ie) renewables. The number of fossil fuel bankruptcies and/or company closings since 2011 (=) ZERO!!(Not counting coal plants being forced closed by President Obama) Likewise, the number of green energy bankruptcies and/or company closing is a staggering 34!! You with me now? Ok, you're behind Dyankee 34-0 and I will not allow the liberal 10 run rule no matter how many subsidies you give me.

Because I love to type tonight and know you follow and agree with Reagan's "Trust, but Verify" creed, here is the specifics: The complete list of failed or bankrupt green-energy companies:

1.Evergreen Solar ($25 million)*
2.SpectraWatt ($500,000)*
3.Solyndra ($535 million)*
4.Beacon Power ($43 million)*
5.Nevada Geothermal ($98.5 million)
6.SunPower ($1.2 billion)
7.First Solar ($1.46 billion)
8.Babcock and Brown ($178 million)
9.EnerDel’s subsidiary Ener1 ($118.5 million)*
10.Amonix ($5.9 million)
11.Fisker Automotive ($529 million)
12.Abound Solar ($400 million)*
13.A123 Systems ($279 million)*
14.Willard and Kelsey Solar Group ($700,981)*
15.Johnson Controls ($299 million)
16.Brightsource ($1.6 billion)
17.ECOtality ($126.2 million)
18.Raser Technologies ($33 million)*
19.Energy Conversion Devices ($13.3 million)*
20.Mountain Plaza, Inc. ($2 million)*
21.Olsen’s Crop Service and Olsen’s Mills Acquisition Company ($10 million)*
22.Range Fuels ($80 million)*
23.Thompson River Power ($6.5 million)*
24.Stirling Energy Systems ($7 million)*
25.Azure Dynamics ($5.4 million)*
26.GreenVolts ($500,000)
27.Vestas ($50 million)
28.LG Chem’s subsidiary Compact Power ($151 million)
29.Nordic Windpower ($16 million)*
30.Navistar ($39 million)
31.Satcon ($3 million)*
32.Konarka Technologies Inc. ($20 million)*
33.Mascoma Corp. ($100 million)
*Denotes companies that have filed for bankruptcy.

Only 1 of the 5 subsidized energy sources is failing miserably and that is GREEN ENERGY! So, as you say, there will be failures in energy sources. Failures such as leaks, spills, green energy bankruptcies, and Dyankee over Lanivan victories, but it's all part of the deal, right?


Wow dyank, let her catch up a bit. It makes for a more interesting on second thought , stand your ground.


If you are fishing for a concession from me, I will concede you won this battle of your own making, but will not win the war. Although, in my experience, conservatives generally don't cotton to digging deeper to get the big picture, did you find out why many of these companies went under? NO? Well, I did, and in many cases, they were driven out of business by foreign manufacturers who received far greater government subsidies than they did, and were undercut in technology, pricing, and timely distribution.

It is all part of the deal, as unhappy as I am with the concept. Energy is a global profit industry, subsidized heavily by both private and public money, and your lists won't change that fact. Fossil fuel energy sources were heavily subsidized in this country since 1916, and of course there were failures, bankruptcies, and wasted money over the years. Many believe the current push by the Republican House to INCREASE and EXPAND tax incentives and subsidies to the mature fossil fuel industry while cutting subsidies to renewables, is a colossal waste of money. The sticking point is that we literally can't live without energy.

So - if it's important to think you are victorious over Lanivan, please do. But it is a hollow victory, although I appreciate the energy you have generated in your argument!


I'm very comfortable with winning just battles in the green energy debates....I'll pave the rest later.

Not many on your side acknowledge a reasonable & convincing conservative rebuttal to their beliefs, but you are the exception and I have seen this side of you before.

This continues to elevate my respect for your opinion regardless of my seething hat...I mean, my slight disagreements with you every now and then.

Some day you may swerve right back into the side of debates that you once called home. Your intellect and communication skills would be welcomed.

These issues are too important for this country to continue to get wrong and time is of the screaming essence. Good talk Lan.


Your wise and much appreciated words give me a reason to keep communicating. It has been good - I've learned some things, and maybe you have, too.

I can't believe I'm still laughing over those dam turtles....

Beyond Petroleum

This was a mock race and Michigan has a very solid program. So lets compare this testb run with dyankee's examples of failures. Compare those to the multi- billion dollar Exxon, BP oil spills or the nightmare fracking failures occurring around the US and the world where 1 inch concrete casings fail regularly, with 5 % failing immediately and over time 50-60% failing, thereby destroying the water supply completely and forever. I also find it interesting that this poster does not talk about why these companies failed - because solar costs have fallen from $ 4 per installed watt of capacity to $.59 per watt and continuing to fall. It also does not mention how the US has a trade surplus with China from selling polysilicon and machinery to China, while they went from zero to dominant producer of Solar modules. It also does not mention the trillion dollars per year spent globally to subsidize oil and gas or mention why fossil fuels receive 10x the subsidies of clean tech in the US. Meanwhile, the US is making dramatic advances in key industries of solar PV, wind, advanced batteries, LED lighting and other industries, trying desperately to compete against global companies and governments who know that these industries are the future and not the fossilized solar energy of the past. Fossil fuels are the roadblock to global prosperity, as they will only grow more expensive, harder to find, less secure and damaging to water and air. Renewables will only get less expensive and are already cheaper than fossil fuels in many markets. My PV paid for itself in 3 years and today cost less than half the price as they were 3 years ago, with advanced high energy density pv and batteries meaning solar can provide higher energy than today's lithium batteries.


BP, (I'm sorry I wasn't trying to be funny.) Beyond Petroleum, if you go down to the Gulf Coast right now, you would have a hell of a time to find ANY ill effects of the BP spill showing today. Why, because mother earth renews itself everyday, every year, and every 10 years, every 100 years, and every million years. So, your argument of ruined for ever is BOGUS!(even Hiroshima & Nagasaki have rebounded) When you cut down a tree a new one grows, when you harvest a deer then more...even healthier deer replace it, when oil spilled in the Gulf it was the salt water that separated the oil in to microscopic molecules and absorbed it, and when you polish the solar PV, wind, advanced batteries, LED lighting and other industry turds....its still a turd.


It's probably normal to be reticent towards technologies that haven't been used, before, but I have all the confidence that this set of wheels will grow on us sooner that anyone of us would think. I wonder when and if I'll get to see it at a Delaware public auto auction, it's a pretty long way to Michigan.

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