Meet Argo


Meet Argo, Illini Solar Car's first vehicle! Three years in the making, Argo is also the first solar vehicle from a University of Illinois team since the Photon Torpedo in 1997.

Argo's body design is catamaran style - a design which has become the traditional solar electric vehicle shape. It features a five fairing design: four for the wheels and one for the driver in the center.

Argo's structure is a semi-monocoque design, which means that the carbon fiber body and the carbon fiber sandwich panel chassis are structural parts of the vehicle. The only metal parts on the vehicle are the roll cage and suspension arms. This significantly reduces the weight of the vehicle.

Argo is a front wheel drive vehicle with the 16" tires on carbon fiber rims being driven by in-wheel electric motors. The on-board lithium-ion battery pack can hold over 5 kilowatt hours of energy, which the 6 square meter silicon cell solar array charges. Additionally, regenerative braking allows the vehicle to regain energy while slowing down.

Bringing Argo from the North Quad to the Bardeen Quad
Team members at the University of Illinois built nearly every part of Argo. This includes the solar array, which we fabricated in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Building's Clean Room and Open Lab facilities. In addition to the facilities provided by the ECE Department and the Engineering Design Council, the completion of Argo would not have been possible without the generous support of all our sponsors!

The next stop for Argo is the 2017 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge in Australia. The vehicle left the University of Illinois on Wednesday and will arrive mid-September ahead of the October challenge.

After the World Solar Challenge a slightly modified Argo will compete at the 2018 American Solar Challenge. Look for more posts soon about the creation of Argo and its journey to Australia!

Argo on the North Quad