Letter From The Driver’s Seat Of PrISUm’s Penumbra Car

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This is a letter from members of the college of engineering. More information on the PrISUm team can be found at https://www.prisum.org/.

This month, Iowa State’s PrISUm team unveiled Penumbra, the world's most advanced, fully sustainable solar-electric vehicle. Penumbra is the first car of its kind, and we are so excited to share it with the world.

While PrISUm has created solar cars for 27 years, Penumbra is the first designed with practicality as our guiding goal. We asked ourselves, “What kind of solar car would people would want to buy someday and actually comfortably drive around with friends and family?”

Well, if you have a family, you need something with multiple seats, and we all want room in the back to bring home groceries. Out of this new type of thinking and design came the Penumbra.

Penumbra seats four people, has a hatch-back with plenty of storage, and features innovative technologies never seen before in a solar electric vehicle: a 15-inch touch screen infotainment system equipped with Google Maps and Bluetooth capabilities. And all that is on top of the fact Penumbra can travel 150 miles on battery power alone—and even farther with the energy supplied by the solar panels along the drive.

Right now, PrISUm and Penumbra are on our SunRun 2017, traveling through all 99 counties of Iowa to get Iowans pumped up about STEM and renewable energy. We’ll be attending events like a vintage car show, a press conference with Gov. Kim Reynolds, and even the NASCAR Xfinity Series race. Check out a full list of SunRun 2017 events here.

But our plans for Penumbra don’t stop there. This fall, we will travel to Australia to compete in the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge, where we will take Penumbra across the continent in a race against other solar car teams from around the globe!

We are a part of PrISUm because we want to do something greater than ourselves. We have a dream of changing the world, and PrISUm gives us an amazing opportunity to change the paradigm of transportation.

Keep up with PrISUm and Penumbra on our Facebook and our Twitter. And come out and see us around Iowa this summer!

Dylan Neal

PrISUm Project Director

Senior in Mechanical Engineering

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Source : http://www.iowastatedaily.com/opinion/letters/article_61200886-53cc-11e7-8d33-2fba47e1656e.html

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