University of Nevada, Reno

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Human Powered Vehicle



Competition Past Bikes Files Why? How?


Communities of Practice (COP)


A community of practice is an online message board hosted by ASME for students to voice questions about the competition. There are also COP's for many other ASME-related events. Every ASME member is encouraged to join in these COP's and to participate. Register/Login here.


Competition 2008

Hosted By the University of Nevada, Reno!


HPVC's 25 year anniversary:


This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Human Powered Vehicle Competition.

This article contains some great information on the HPVC commemorating 25 years


Times and Places

West Coast Competition: University of Nevada, Reno April 18-20 2008

East Coast Competition: University of Madison-Wisconsin April 25-27 2008

Latin America Competition: Maracaibo, Venezuela, September 2-4 2008


International HPVC

If you didn't know that there is a HPVC in Latin America and you want to find out more about it please contact Aaron Smith.


Summary Of Rules (Courtesy of ASME)


The competition includes three classes of vehicles.

  • Single Rider - operated and powered by a single individual
  • Multi-rider - operated and powered by two or more individuals
  • Utility - vehicle designed for every-day transportation for such activities as commuting to work or school, shopping trips, and general transportation

Single Rider and Multi-rider vehicles will participate in three events: Design, Sprint, and Endurance. Utility vehicles will participate in two events: Design and Utility Endurance.  

All vehicles in all classes of competition are required to have a full or partial aerodynamic fairing. This fairing must cover 1/3 of the frontal area of the vehicle and be built such that it clearly shows the provided number assigned to the vehicle and ASME logo. The number and logo must be displayed on every fairing in front of the rider and must be visible from both sides of the vehicle.  

All vehicles and teams in all classes must abide by all the safety requirements.

  1. Make a complete stop in a distance of 20 feet or less from a speed of 15 miles per hour
  2. Travel is a straight line for 100 feet
  3. Negotiate a turn within a 25-foot radius
  4. Provide rollover protection for riders and stokers, equivalent to chrome-molybdenum steel tubing with an outer diameter of 1.5 inches and a wall thickness of no less than 0.049 inches
  5. Wear helmets that meet given standards
  6. Wear seat belts or shoulder harnesses, in accordance to the rulebook
  7. Show that all surfaces of the vehicle, both exterior and interior region of the rider(s), are free from sharp edges and protrusions

Vehicles found unsafe during inspection or anytime of the competition will be removed from the competition until the problem has been resolved. 

Energy Storage
The use of energy storage devices by non-utility vehicles is prohibited. Normal operating components involved in the drive train are specifically permitted in as much as their design is not primarily influenced by energy storage considerations. Utility vehicles will be allowed to store regenerative energy. Prior to every event, they must show that their energy-storing device has no initial energy stored. All of the energy stored by the device must be a result of the vehicle being in motion.  

The design event will include vehicles from all three classes. Judges will consider both the formal written report and the oral presentation when reviewing vehicle designs. There will be an emphasis on originality and the soundness of the design. The focus will be the new work that has been completed in the last year.

The Sprint event will include Single Rider and Multi-rider vehicles. Approximately four hours of competition will be ran on a single track such that everyone will be capable of obtaining a sprint time. The timed portion of the course is a 100 meter straight a way. There will be a preceding distance of 300 to 400 meters for vehicles to gain speed before entering the timed portion, as well as a minimum of 200 meters at the end for the vehicles to slow down.     

The Endurance event will involve all three categories. Single Rider and Multi-rider vehicles will compete in grand prix style road races of approximately 65 kilometers (40 miles). Vehicles must start the event with female rider(s) who must complete at least 5 kilometers. No individual can compete in the vehicle for more than 20 kilometers, and all laps by any individual must be consecutive. When the lead vehicle crosses the finish line, each team will be allowed to finish the lap it is on to end the competition.         

The Utility Endurance event includes Utility vehicles only. The course will be a distance of approximately 10 kilometers and will include obstacles such as a driveway entry ramp, speed bumps, stop signs, and "head in" parking. Along with these obstacles, the rider will be required to dismount his/her vehicle to pick up parcels or packages (29.2 cm x 17.2 cm x 39.3 cm) as well as drop them off. The event is over when all vehicles have completed the course.  

The specifications for each event, including the mandatory use of female riders, can be found in the rulebook. How the scores are tallied for each event and vehicle can also be found there. Forms for registration, certifications, and eligibility, along with others are all included in the appendix of the rulebook. To avoid disqualification competing teams are strongly encouraged to become familiar with all the rules and regulations.


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Copyright 2008 UNR Human Powered Vehicle Club

Updated 3-14-08