Bridgestone World Solar Challenge heats up for 2021
05 Jun 2020
To coincide with World Environment Day, the official dates and regulation changes for the 2021 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge have been announced as teams from around the world start to dream big in their quest to tackle the adventure across Australia’s outback.
The event’s 16th edition will be held from 22 to 30 October 2021 and again involve the iconic 3,000-kilometre journey from Darwin to Adelaide through some of the world’s harshest and toughest conditions.
Today’s announcement means entrants from around the globe can get to work on cutting-edge vehicles for the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge, with a ‘preview’ of the disruptive changes to the 2021 Regulations.
Long-time Event Director, Chris Selwood AM, said teams were eagerly anticipating today’s news.
“Each event is unique and key drivers of our latest regulatory changes include challenging complacency and encouraging fresh thinking around the imperatives of sustainable transport, a fitting goal for World Environment Day,” he said.
“We hope teams taking on this great scientific adventure will be encouraged to focus on a positive future – and that preparations will offer a welcome return to the familiar after the upheaval of recent months.”
Selwood also acknowledged support from Bridgestone Corporation, which is now in the first year of a decade-long extension as the event’s title sponsor.
“We’re thrilled to continue partnering with Bridgestone Corporation to deliver this event, one that offers an authentic Australian outback experience and the chance to put solar vehicles to the ultimate test,” Mr Selwood said.
Bridgestone Corporation Japan, Vice President and Officer, Global Brand Strategy, Olympics, Paralympics & Active Healthy Lifestyle, Mr. Mitsuhira Shimazaki, said the ongoing partnership reflects Bridgestone’s commitment to supporting the next generation of engineers and developing innovative technologies.
“We are seeing rapid transformation in the automotive industry, and this presents an exciting opportunity. Now is the time for us to challenge ourselves and shape the future and accelerate the development of advanced and sustainable mobility solutions,” Mr. Shimazaki said.
“The Bridgestone World Solar Challenge is the ideal platform for the development of advanced and sustainable mobility solutions. By supporting this great event, we are continuing to invest in the people who dream bigger and innovating to create these advanced solutions for the future.”
South Australian Minister for Energy, Dan van Holst Pellekaan, said South Australia is the natural home for the solar challenge with its world leading adoption of innovative renewable technology.
“From solar panels, to batteries and electric vehicles South Australia has embraced the creation of a renewable, sustainable future,” said Minister van Holst Pellekaan.
Northern Territory’s Minister for Tourism, Sport and Culture, Lauren Moss said how the region is looking forward to welcoming back the endurance event in 2021.
“The Bridgestone World Solar Challenge is a unique event that brings the disciplines of science and technology to life, and sees them make their way through the heart of the Territory,” Minister Moss said.
“The Northern Territory Government continues to support the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge to ensure it keeps growing as a participant and spectator event, not only promoting the Territory as a safe drive destination on the world stage, but acknowledging the growing importance of renewable technology in the economy, promoting sustainable transport through technological innovation and nurturing the skills needed both locally and internationally.”
“This is an internationally recognised event that sees teams from all over the world invest time and money in Darwin before setting off down the Stuart Highway. Last year 22 countries took part with teams spending weeks in our city before they set off, and the iconic drive was streamed across the world.”
“Next year’s event will feature an extensive school engagement program helping students to learn more about the science and technology behind the event, and an industry program that will discuss the latest innovations,” the Minister said.
The eight-day program is set to feature activities at both ends of the route in Adelaide and Darwin for families and schools, including talks focusing on innovation, technology and sustainability.
Applications for entry plus the full set of 2021 Regulations for the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge will be released on 19 June 2020, giving teams more than a year to prepare their projects for the ultimate endurance challenge.