Indian Solar Car Project

Delhi Technological University

This post describes the work done during my time as Electrical Design Head at Team Solaris of Delhi Technological University. We participated in two global competitions and our cars were flagged off and parised by the President of India.

Times of India reports : Imgur

Indian Express reports: Imgur


Ten engineers passionate about making a robust vehicle that runs long distances on solar electric energy. With almost no funds and no technical expertise in any areas on designing a car, we had to make a path of our own, amidst no support from industry.


I was selected in the team in my first year. It was a cool feeling. We had to showcase the car and drive 3000km across Australia (Darwin—Adelaide). No amount of background is enough for the project, but I will try to keep it as concise as possible. In the initial year, I was responsible for working on telemetry and solar array fabrication of the car. I was a somehow a self-made in-charge of designing the logo, brochure, and posters for the car too. I still don’t know why did I choose those batman fonts. I guess we all are naive at some stage. The first car building was entirely funded by our college and ourselves. It was launched by the Chief Minister of the state and we received a lot of good reviews for our sleepless nights and misadventures. I had documented the process in my old blog. The stages were :

Our goal was to learn how to make a car that runs on solar power. We built, failed, burned, and rebuilt our own converters and circuits. Learned by doing and breaking things. Our hands were always dirty and mind always busy solving some problems. Finally, we did build a working car, certified to run on international roads. The race in Australia was great. We had the lowest cost car in the competition. Or we did not know why things could be so expensive. The cost of competing was more than the cost of building the car for us. The rough estimate is about 10 times cheaper. We did complete the race, but our mileage was about 11%. Crossing the line mattered a lot to us, sweating it out to learn and without support from the industry. We built a parent-sourced car. In the next year, we decided to build a more utilitarian passenger car. Our previous failures helped us and we were able to build one in record time. This time we used curved panels adapted to our body too. We learned this from friends from Germany, Singapore, and Iran while in Australia. The current car drew more attention and was inaugurated by the President of India, Pranab Mukherjee. It was faster and a bit conventional. I hope we furthered the thinking in this space with our work. In the end, we moved out of the team and the juniors carried it on. Some of the people in the team now work for good automotive companies like Tesla, Tata Motors, Hero, and Google.



Learnings: The learnings were immense. We traveled to Australia and camped in deserts, in forests and wherever we stopped. I have tons of stories to tell about these things. We had to manage a lot of finances ourselves. So, we learned cost analysis down to the component level. I learned a lot on DIY, making, and electronics in general. This helped me with my hobbies and work under Prof. Gadre. The experience made me realize the value of working in a team. We all slogged and made it through.

Number Plate

Media Coverage:

Skills: Engineering, Sourcing, and Management