Bridgestone World Solar Challenge
‘Fuelled by the spirit of friendly competition, the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge champions the creative integration of technical and scientific expertise across a wide range of disciplines, providing a focus for bright young minds.‘
– Chris Selwood, Event Director
The Bridgestone World Solar Challenge is the most prestigious solar car race. This bi-yearly race can be seen as the showcase of new and advanced automotive technologies and as a way of promoting sustainable developments.
The race crosses right through the Australian Outback, from Darwin (north) to Adelaide (south) following the Stuart Highway. The race spans across 3000 km of public roads posing numerous challenges along the way. The race is all about being the first to cross the finish line, but having the fastest solar car is not a guarantee for victory. Having a strategy that takes weather, energy income and output, road conditions and traffic into account is of vital importance. The race takes place on several days as the solar cars drive from 8:00 to 17:00.
An impression of the period around the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge in Australia for the solar team is shown below.
The Bridgestone World Solar Challenge promotes sustainable transportation. Participating teams are challenged to design a car that drives 3000 kilometers in a maximum of 6 days purely on solar energy. By changing the regulations almost every edition, technological innovations are stimulated in the participating teams.
On October 22th 2021, Solar Team Twente will start, for the eight time, in the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge with only one goal: standing on the starting line with the fastest solar car and becoming World Champion.
Below the first episode of the ‘WSC for dummies’ can be found. In this series team 2019 explains several elements of participating in the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge. The other videos in this series can be found on the Youtube channel.
The Danish solar pioneer and adventurist Hans Tholstrup is the founder of the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge. Together with Larry Perkins he crossed Australia in 1982 from west to east with a self-made solar car called ‘The Quiet Achiever’. This was the inspiration to encourage others to find the limits of solar powered transportation. And so since 1987 the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge takes place every other year.
Solar Team Twente participates in the Challenger class. This class contains the fastest solar vehicles of the entire event. The solar cars in this class are designed for efficiency. The winner of the Challenger class is the team that is the first to complete the entire route with their solar car.
The two other classes are the Cruiser and Adventure class. Where the Cruiser class is focused more on practicality and the amount of occupants the car has room for. The Adventure class is aimed more at concept cars.
More than fourty teams from all around the globe participate in the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge. There are for example several teams from Europe, America, Indonesia, Japan and Arabia. The 2019 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge had a record number of entries: 53 teams from 24 countries. They introduced themselves in this video.