Equinox was the eighth car from the Stanford Solar Car Project. It was designed to compete in the 2007 World Solar Challenge.
It shares the same aerodynamic shape, motor, and motor controller as the highly successful Solstice, but has completely revamped innards. The chassis is integrated into the shell using carbon fiber panels rather than a steel roll cage.
It is also the first Stanford car to incorporate the use of the automotive-oriented CAN bus. That makes it possible to have both decentralized electronics hardware around the car, while maintaining a very limited set of wires that go everywhere around the vehicle.
While the car was well built, it lacked the test miles and crew experience to really do well in WSC. It shipped to Australia with only about 40 miles on it, and it certainly wasn’t done breaking by that point. During the race, the rear left tire deflated and the driver lost control. The vehicle spun out and hit a concrete drainage embankment on the right side of the road while still traveling around 50 MPH.
Thanks to our very serious rollcage design, the driver was uninjured and walked away from the accident. We learned many lessons on that cycle and hope to do better with Apogee.