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Hundreds of Students Enter SMUD’s Solar Car Race

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SACRAMENTO -- Two hundred high school students from Northern California entered the 7th Annual SMUD Solar Car race at Cosumnes River College.

Many came to show off their new inventions.

"When they grow up and become professionals, they are going to help us develop the solutions that are going to drive the energy solutions or the future to help improve companies, and so forth," Manager of the SMUD education program, Jacobe Caditz said.

Olbayd Lopez is representing Sacramento's Cristo Rey High School. He is an aspiring mechanical engineer and soon-to-be Sacramento State University Student. His idol is an inventor and engineer from the early 1900s - the namesake of the new electric car company.

"Nikola Tesla. It's better, He invented a lot of ideas, and he was the first one to make energy as a stable power source," Lopez said.

Many of the competitors were all about getting to the finish line first. Others focused on sustainability.

"We sued an orange juice bottle, which is kind of cool," Vista Del Lago High School's Katelin Godwin said.

She and her partner Brenden Johnson are eyeing the renewable award.

"Sustainability is really important to me. It's actually what I am going to be studying in college at Oregon State, so I'm really excited about it. I really just want to make sure that humans and the earth can balance together," Godwin said.

These kids predict the future of the car industry will require no gasoline.

"Diesel cars are efficient for heavy-duty things. Besides that, that's the only type of gas we will be using. Besides the stove," Lopez laughed.

"I think there is a great potential that these students go out and be the next Elon Musk," Caditz said.

The winners got a special trophy, and year-long bragging rights.