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Appalachian State University's

Solar Vehicle Team

Our Mission is made Possible By:




Team Sunergy is led by faculty advisers Jeremy Ferrell, Ph.D., and Christopher Tolbert. Dr. Ferrell is an Assistant Professor of Appropriate Technology in the Department of Technology and Environmental Design. He is a passionate advocate of sustainable transportation technology and has extensive project management experience. Christopher Tolbert is the first to inspire the creation of a Solar Vehicle Team at the University by encouraging students to go beyond the bounds of typical college curriculum. He is currently an Adjunct Faculty member and High School Technology Education teacher at West Wilkes High School. He is also the head coach of an electric vehicle racing program at WWHS.

Currently 22 undergraduate and graduate students are working on this project. These students come from a variety of disciplines from around the University, such as Appropriate Technology, Interior Design, Industrial Design, Sustainable Design, Engineering Physics, Computer Sciences, Physics and Marketing. Between all of these students there is enough wealth of knowledge and desire for growth to become a worthy competitor to other teams around the world. Additionally, these students seek to raise awareness by mentoring students in high school on sustainability, as well as reach out to the public for awareness of such sustainable technology.


This project does not just stem from a competition that is held on a global stage; it is the need for a more sustainable transportation for the future. Therefore, we are not looking at this competition like most other teams. The Solar Vehicle Team is looking to build the most robust and reliable vehicle that will withstand daily road conditions, including the hazards that are encountered every day by drivers. Additionally, we believe as current students that it is most important for personal and educational growth to be completely hands-on with this project. With multiple academic disciplines contributing to the design, fabrication and engineering of this vehicle, we expect to have the most competitive vehicle on the road. We are looking to showcase our efforts in the form of winning races and solving tomorrow’s problems with today’s solutions.


Another focus of our solar vehicle team is to not only advance the technology  and application of sustainable transportation, but to also advance the knowledge and inspiration of current and future generations to strive towards a more sustainable future. We set forth with the intentions that we would encourage local and regional residents to do their part in sustaining our future by showcasing the potential future of what sustainability could look like. Not to mention that North Carolina is the perfect place for any race team, as it is home to the Nascar Hall of Fame and a deep history in racing. Our other focus was to capture the attention of young learners and inspire them to be more conscious of their impact on our environment and at the same time get excited about careers in technology, engineering, science, mathematics and design. We currently have a partnership with West Wilkes High School and their Electric Vehicle Team. Through our partnership we hope to mentor young learners and hope to also learn a bit from them in the process. We hope to broaden our impact in the region with future partnerships with Watauga High School, Avery High School, and other local schools.

Learn more about WWHS EV team at:

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Transportation of the future

The 2016-17 year looking forward is Team Sunergy’s most exciting year since our conception in 2014; we will be entering our current solar car ,called Apperion, to race in the Formula Sun Grand Prix and American Solar Challenge this summer, as well as unveiling our next-generation solar vehicle at the Fall Auto Fair in Charlotte, NC. Sponsoring our team means that your company or group will be acknowledged at all of our outreach events in the coming year with the opportunity to place your logo on our vehicle and event banner to be seen by all of our followers.


Team Sunergy will be racing Apperion in the Formula Sun Grand Prix and American Solar challenge this July and August in front of an audience of solar vehicle enthusiasts and curious spectators alike. This is an opportunity for your brand to be directly associated with our mission of advancing sustainable transportation technology and educating the public on this great need.

Following the summer races we will be bringing Apperion to be featured as one of just seven positions on the Showcase Pavilion Floor at the Fall Auto Fair in Charlotte, NC. The Fall Auto Fair is one of the largest auto shows on the east coast, attended by nearly 150,000 spectators and 7,000 vendors. While we are there we will unveil our next project that will go into development later this year: a four-seat, completely solar vehicle. We aim to bring this car to the World Solar Challenge when it is held next year. This project is an ambitious one and we are excited to begin the next phase of solar vehicle development. This project may cost up to $150,000, and more to travel to the World Solar Challenge. We need help from sponsors, and in return for your support we will acknowledge your contribution at the Fall Auto Fair at our big unveiling as well as promoting your image by advertising your logo on our solar vehicle (both the current and next-generation), our race uniforms and team banner. We also promote linked logos on our website and posts of our team to our hundreds of followers on Social Media. For more information on sponsorship levels and benefits please check out the link below:


Sponsoring Team Sunergy offers a unique opportunity to associate your brand with our team’s mission of developing an efficient transportation alternative to fossil fuels. Your contribution will directly help our team advance our image of a sustainable future, and share this image to people at our school, in our community, and across the country. We will greatly accept cash or in-kind donations that contribute to our mission.



20 kWh Level Sponsors


10 kWh Level Sponsor


5 kWh Level Sponsors


2.5 kWh Level Sponsors


 1 kWh Level Sponsors


A very special thanks to:


Chancellor Sheri Everts

Dr. Darrell Kruger

Jennifer Crisohon

Dr. Lee Ball

Mike and Dana

Ged Moody

Dr. Anthony Calamai

Glenda Treadaway

Chad Everhart

Wendy Ray

Barry Pibas






The Formula Sun Grand Prix, the pre-qualifier for the American Solar Challenge, is a competition open to collegiate teams from around the world. Formula Sun is a three-day track event where teams aim to complete the most laps. The Formula Sun Grand Prix will take place at PittRace, in Pittsburgh, PA. Solar vehicles are first evaluated with rigorous time trials and testing of the systems. Slalom, figure 8, water-soaked stopping, egress, and scrutineering all test the vehicle as well as teams ability to function under normal and extreme commuter operating conditions. Teams operate in true racing fashion, making hot pit stops for tire and driver changes while monitoring the solar irradiance (solar energy) and their batteries to determine their optimum speed. Formula Sun promotes energy efficiency and the use of renewable sources of energy through the design, development, and demonstration of customized vehicles. Through their challenges and the efforts made by the teams, they raise public awareness and enthusiasm of alternative technologies that make fewer demands on the environment.  Click here for FSGP home page. 

The American Solar Challenge is an international race across the Americas that is roughly 1800 miles long. The race route has us racing from Eastern Ohio to South Dakota. This year the race organizers have partnered with the National Park Service and they have established every checkpoint at a National Park. During these stage stops the public will get a chance to see the solar cars, learn about sustainable transportation, and enjoy the spirit of racing. The race is conducted over a five to eight day period with daily checkpoints for recovery of the vehicle and recharge of the batteries. All the vehicles are truly road tested to insure the viability of running the vehicle on American roadways.  Click here for American Solar Challenge home page. 


The World Solar Challenge is a highly-acclaimed international race that takes place in Australia every other year. The race requires solar vehicles to travel 3000 kilometers across the entire Australian continent. There are three different classes of vehicles that can compete. The class that the App State Solar Vehicle Team is striving to compete in is the Cruiser Class. This class is a true racing class with vehicles that are designed to be roadworthy, as well as fast enough to pass commuter cars up to 145 kph. These are the best competitors from around the globe with technologies that are more advanced than some components used in space. Click here for World Solar Challenge home page. 



Eventually, the team would love to compete in as many global competitions as possible. Though ambitious, the team believes in spreading the knowledge and sharing in the excitement of solar vehicle races. Here is a list of most solar car races around the globe:

World Solar Challenge, Australia

iLumen European Solar Challenge, Europe

Sasol Solar Challenge, South Africa

Carrera Solar Aticama, South America

Abu Dhabi Solar Challenge, United Arab Emirates

Cyprus Solar Car Challenge, Cyprus

FIA Alternate Energies Cup Solar Car Race Suzuka, Japan


There are many ways to get involved! we are actively looking for sponsorship opportunities with local and national businesses both actively involved with alternative transportation solutions, and those looking to be a part of Appalachian competition history. Simply fill out the Contact us information to the right and someone from our business team will contact you shortly about the opportunities.

Please check out ways you can help Team Sunergy develop the future of transportation.


You may also want to contact someone directly to get more information about sponsorship/donation opportunities or just more information about the project.

Dan Blakeley - Project Director

(760) 660-7121

Dr. Jeremy Ferrell - Faculty Adviser

(828) 262-8818

Chris Tolbert - Faculty Adviser

(336) 984-1989

Brad Johnson - Faculty Adviser

(828) 262-7318


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