About the Greenpower Challenge
The Mountain West Grand Prix started as the Utah Greenpower Electric Car Challenge in 2015 with a handful of schools participating. Students work in teams to design and build single-seat electric car kits from GreenpowerUSA. They are guided by mentors as they learn by doing new things. This project-based approach leads to inspiring students to apply what they are learning in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) to solve real problems. The result is that exploration leads the students to discover new interests and fosters potential future careers.
The Greenpower Challenge in Utah grows every year. In 2019, 24 teams of Goblin and F24 cars from 18 schools in Utah, and one in Nevada participated. Competing teams follow guidelines requiring them to use the same standard motor and batteries in the vehicle. The event starts with qualifying heats to determine which teams will advance to the final round. Qualifying cars then race in one final set. Scoring is based on the number of continuous laps, with extra points awarded for cars competing in the fastest lap and a video presentation.
Racing is only part of the competition. Each team starts with either a new car kit from GreenpowerUSA, or a car to be modified from a previous year. Working together, they learn how their car operates from the inside out, making changes to its look and function. Prior to arriving for race day, students complete coursework, recruit team sponsors, practice racing, and create a video. One of the biggest challenges is planning the logistics of how to move their car and team to the Utah Motorsports Campus for race days. News and media updates on the 2019 challenge can be found in our news and highlights section.
For those interested in starting a team or learning new skills, free design courses are available online at GEAR UP University. These courses are self-paced and cover a wide variety of topics such as creating the F24 car body, and 3D CAD modeling. Siemens also offers tutorials and resources and free Solid Edge Software for students. Teams are encouraged to research current transportation issues in Utah to let them see how electric cars and greenpower energy are valuable to the future of the state.
Greenpower challenges take place all over the country, and the world, promoting STEM-education and workforce development in students ages of 9 to 25. The event is co-organized by USU STARS! GEAR UP and the Utah Governor’s Office of Energy Development (OED), with support from USU's College of Engineering — Sustainable Electrified Transportation Center (SELECT), and GreenpowerUSA.