When James Worden came to MIT as a freshman in 1985, he'd already built a solar car. By the time he was 21, he had made six of the 10 working solar cars in the country. He then gathered a group of people interested in building solar cars.

In 1988, MIT Solar Electric Vehicle Team’s (SEVT) Solectria 5 won the American Solar Cup. From 1990-1994, MIT was number one in the American Tour de Sol, and in 1999, our Manta GTX crossed the finish line of the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge in first place. Most recently, our single-occupancy vehicle Nimbus won the American Solar Challenge (ASC) in 2021 and 2022. 

Our team is student-run, giving our members invaluable hands-on experience to apply what is learned in the classroom to a real world project. We are community-focused, spreading renewable energy initiatives within and beyond the workshop. We focus not on winning, but on creating a well-designed, well-engineered system and in the process, teach all members how to be better engineers. We ensure that every member of the team learns something new, whether it's a technical skill like CAD, a machining skill like welding, or leadership skill as a project lead, and support each other in all endeavors. That is who we are.

Nimbus is currently on display on the first floor of the MIT Museum through summer 2024, free for all to see! 


Number of Members:
49 members in 2023-2024

Team leaders: 
Adrienne Lai

Year began: 

Amos Winter


Team goals
MIT SEVT is hard at working building our first multi-occupancy solar electric vehicle, Gemini! Gemini is a two person car constructed out of carbon fiber composites with 5 square meters of solar panels and 14.5 kWh of lithium-ion batteries. Different from our single-occupancy vehicles, Gemini will have doors, windows, a windshield, and carplay! It will be raced for the first time in the 2024 American Solar Challenge!

Team Website