The Original Solectria Sunrise

James Worden's Record-Setting 1994 Solectria Sunrise

Solectria was a company committed to building electric vehicles that would change the world. Founder and CEO James Worden and his cars regularly won the annual American Tour de Sol race for electric vehicles. Beginning in 1988 with components for solar raycers, the company advanced to EV conversions, and finally the Solectria Sunrise, the most efficient and advanced electric vehicle to date. The goal was to partner with a major automaker to produce the Sunrise, much like General Motors had done with Aerovironment to produce their EV1.

But, it was not to be. Just as the Sunrise was nearing completion, California backed down on its ZEV mandate. Freed of the need to build EVs, the automakers rushed to recall and crush their prototype EVs, and cancelled all further EV development. With no hope of finding a customer for their Sunrise, Solectria sold its electric vehicle component business to Azure Dynamics Inc. (now out of business), and continued as Solectria Renewables to produce grid-tied inverters and other renewable energy products.

In 2005, James Worden put the remaining unassembled Sunrise parts, molds, and documentation up for sale. The Sunrise EV2 Project team was formed to pool our resources and purchase these parts and rescue the Sunrise from oblivion. We have been working ever since to find a way to make this remarkable and innovative vehicle available.

The Solectria Sunrise leaving on its record setting NYC to Boston run, with James Worden at the wheel. (Photo courtesy of Clarke Taylor)

Links to Solectria Sunrise information

Specifications of the 1997 Solectria Sunrise



Drive system






The Solectria Sunrise development team; Spring 1998. From left to right: Steraen Hardy, Wayne Kirk, Alec Stevens, Guy Rossi, Mark Cardono, Jeff Fisher, John Rocters, Max Schenk, Gary Giammatteo, Ken Schia-Hughes, Clarke Taylor, Chris Anctil, and Vasilios Marcos (not visible; he took the photo).

The Sunrise EV2 Project, © 2007-2014 by Lee A. Hart. Created: 2/6/2008. Last updated: 6/20/2014.
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