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It's Cruise Control all the way from Solar Team Eindhoven

It's Cruise Control all the way from Solar Team Eindhoven

21 Oct 2019

It's Cruise Control all the way from Solar Team Eindhoven

Solar Team Eindhoven from the Netherlands have proven it's in a class of its own, claiming a fourth consecutive Cruiser Cup in the 2019 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge.

The team's fourth-generation solar electric car Stella Era, purpose built for the BWSC, impressed on the road and on the judging floor. Pitched as an ‘opportunity seeker’, Stella Era is a charging station on wheels with eight inbuilt radars which can detect the intensity of the sun and move to charge accordingly. Overall second place went to Australia’s Sunswift in Violet and third place went to Hong Kong’s team IVE in Sophie 6.

To win the Cruiser Cup, solar electric cars must complete the journey from Darwin to Adelaide within time windows and as energy efficiently as possible. Out of 13 Cruisers, just three completed the Challenge within the time frame. Going into the second phase of judging, Eindhoven was leading on 111.7 points, followed by Australia’s Sunswift on 56.1 and Hong Kong’s Team IVE Engineering Solar Car Team on 44.2.

The Cruiser Class teams were judged by an expert panel to evaluate the market potential of each solar electric car. The focus was on assessing characteristics such as: design innovation; environmental impact, ease of access; driver and passenger comfort; controls; features; style; and overall style and desirability.

Teams presented to12 adjudicators including industry leaders from Tesla, Suntrix and Prohelion, past BWSC faculty and alumni, international solar challenge organisers from Chile, South Africa and the US and media representatives.

A range of features caught the judges’ attention – from touch-screen connectivity and data transfer, infotainment systems, smart apps, to energy sharing systems and everything in between. For some, safety and road registration were ultimate goals, others focused on interior comforts and technology. In the practicality wrap-up, the Eindhoven car continued its dominance with a score of 93.1 points.

Second in the practicality ranks on 82.4, Lodz presented a stylish looking car with inbuilt infotainment system and third in the practicality rankings was Cambridge University Eco Racing on 79.9.

Event Director Chris Selwood AM said in the fourth iteration of the Cruiser class, the number of competitors doubled.

'The determinants of success in this class are a combination of speed, endurance, and energy inputs before a subjective judging element. What is a practical car? We look at ease of access, controls and instrumentation, features and benefits, style and aesthetics, and we expose these young engineers to that most intangible quality demanded of designers – desirability,’ Mr Selwood said.

‘The criteria for determining success in this class is complex. Eindhoven continues to innovate. Their goal, to bring solar electric cars to the everyday driver is to be commended.

‘Stella Era’ not only looks beautiful, she’s smart and energy efficient – a standout design in a diverse and talented field,’ Mr Selwood concluded.

See the final Cruiser Class Results here.

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