MSXIV - 2020 American Solar Challenge

MSXIV is our most ambitious project yet. With a four person capacity, an emphasis on interior design, and better aerodynamics than our previous solar car, MSXIV comes one step closer in our mission to push the boundaries of consumer-centered solar vehicles.

We plan on competing with MSXIV at the 2020 American Solar Challenge. Meanwhile, we’ll be documenting our progress in our blogs. Look out for details about the MSXIV unveiling, which will take place in April 2020!




With 30 years of solar design experience, Midnight Sun has successfully created a combined total of 12 challenger and cruiser class vehicles.

The team’s first project vehicle dubbed “Midnight Sun Zero” due to its solar bike look, marked the beginning of our first chapter. For almost 10 years from 1990 to 1999, our team competed at Sunrayce, the precursor to what is now the American Solar Challenge. In 1999, we made our debut at the World Solar Challenge in Australia with MSV.

Midnight Sun has seen great success in the new Millennium, even breaking a 2003 Guinness World Record with MSVII for the longest distance traveled powered by the sun. Most recently in 2018, MSXII became the first Canadian cruiser-class vehicle to finish the American Solar Challenge.

Since 2016, our team has been designing and building consumer-oriented solar cars known as “cruisers” or Mult-Occupant-Vehicles. With practicality and performance being equal metrics in scoring, these vehicles are meant to blur the lines between commercial vehicles and solar transportation.



Past Cars

MSXII - 2018 American Solar Challenge, 3rd Place

MSXII features ample cabin space for 2 people, storage compartments, and an interactive centre console display. It is the second cruiser-class vehicle from the University of Waterloo.

MSXII is the first Canadian cruiser-class car to finish the American Solar Challenge, finishing 3rd in the 2018 race from Omaha, Nebraska to Bend, Oregon. Most recently, it placed 3rd in the 2019 FSGP in Austin, Texas.


MSXI - 2016, Formula Sun Grand Prix

Midnight Sun XI is the first cruiser class vehicle from the University of Waterloo and marked the team’s switch from efficiency-based challenger class vehicles to consumer-focused cruiser class vehicles. It is also the first vehicle from Midnight Sun to feature four wheels, two passenger seating and a carbon fibre monocoque body. The team overcame numerous challenges and short timelines to attend the American Solar Challenge 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.


MSX - 2011 World Solar Challenge, 30th Place

Midnight Sun X reached a top speed of 130 km/hr and had a cruising speed of 80 km/hr. This model had SunPower A300 solar cells installed for the car’s solar array. MSX featured one of the most cost effective solar arrays in the market, the SunPower A300 series gives one of the best dollar-to-watt ratio. Midnight Sun X finished 30th in the 2011 World Solar Challenge.


MSIX - North American Solar Challenge, 4th Place

Midnight Sun IX was unveiled on August 12, 2007 and painted black and gold in honour of the school's 50th anniversary. It was the first model to feature an upright seat, allowing for better visibility and a better fit for the five-point harness. The team was given the title of Top Canadian Team after finishing 4th overall in the American Solar Challenge, and 16th in the 2007 World Solar Challenge.

Midnight Sun IX (MSIX) was on display at the second annual solar and conservation fair in Toronto.


MSVIII - 2005 American Solar Challenge, 5th Place

After a 5th overall standing in the 2005 American Solar Challenge and the Top Canadian Team award at the North American Solar Challenge, Midnight Sun VIII was put on display at the Canadian Museum of Science and Technology in Ottawa, Ontario. It has since returned to the University of Waterloo.


MSVII - 2003 American Solar Challenge, 3rd Place

Midnight Sun VII finished 3rd overall and was the top Canadian Team in the 2003 American Solar Challenge. Midnight Sun was also was awarded the Technical Innovation Award for the use of our adaptable fairings, a feature which the team used to enhance the sailing performance of the vehicle. The Midnight Sun VII car also competed in the 2004 North American tour covering 15 070 km in 40 days. The team captured the 2004 Guinness World Record for the “Longest Journey by a Solar Powered Car."


MSVI - 2001 American Solar Challenge, 3rd Place

The Midnight Sun VI finished 3rd overall, and top Canadian team in the 2001 American Solar Challenge. Midnight Sun VI was our second car to travel to the World Solar Challenge in Australia, where the team placed 15th overall. In ASC 2001 it had an impressive reliability record of only one flat tire across the entire duration of the race.


MSV - 1999 World Solar Challenge, 25th Place

Midnight Sun V finished 10th overall in Sunrayce 1999 and was the first University of Waterloo model to race in the 1999 World Solar Challenge, held in Australia. It came 25th overall in the World Solar Challenge and won the Battler's Award for "overcoming the most adversity to the finish line" after the car’s motor broke down with 500 km left in the race - fortunately the team from MIT lent a spare motor necessary for completing the race.


MSIV - 1997 American Solar Challenge, 7th Place

Midnight Sun IV has been one of the most successful vehicles ever produced by the team. In Sunrayce 97, it won the prestigious Award for Technical Innovation. It finished first out of all Canadian teams and seventh out of the 36 competing teams.


MSIII - 1995 General Motors Sunrayce (USA) - 20th Place

Midnight Sun III competed in Sunrayce 95 from Indianapolis to Denver. The team finished 20th overall. The car had a number of problems during the race, including flexing of the rear swingarm and dislocation of the tires from the rims under severe bumps.


MSII - 1992 General Motors Sunrayce (USA) - 33rd Place

The Midnight Sun II solar car competed in Sunrayce 93, which ran from Dallas to Minneapolis. The car was plagued by low battery power throughout the race and finished 33rd overall.


MSI - 1990 General Motors Sunrayce (USA) - 24th Place

Midnight Sun's first project was not a car, but rather a solar bike since dubbed "Midnight Sun Zero". The team was given the opportunity to show our technology to then-Prime Minister Brian Mulroney.

The Midnight Sun I competed in the GM Sunrayce USA in 1990. The race started in Lake Buena Vista, Florida and ended in Warren, Michigan. The car was in the top ten for most of the race until Day 10, when it was bumped off the road by an out of control pickup truck. Despite not being able to finish the last day and a half, the team was awarded 24th place.