2023 Teams Announced
05 Jun 2023
Speaking from leading innovation district, Lot Fourteen’s Stone & Chalk, the Hon. Susan Close, Deputy Premier of South Australia, today celebrated the return of the world’s greatest innovation and engineering challenge, The Bridgestone World Solar Challenge (BWSC), with teams, industry, entrepreneurs, and advocates for a more sustainable future.
Announcing one of the most geographically and culturally diverse fields in the event’s history, the Deputy Premier confirmed 43 teams from 23 locations are now in the race to the Darwin start line this October.
‘This wonderful event enhances South Australia’s reputation as a significant player in hi-tech industries, demonstrated by our commitment to defence, space, and renewable energy, the Deputy Premier said.
‘The BWSC augments skill sets and talent pathways for next generation innovators. It provides a unique platform to connect and engage industry, build our workforce, and attract future talent.
‘It aligns with our future focus towards advanced manufacturing and by hosting the event we highlight the importance of these industries.
‘This incredible field of more than 1,200 participants, including some of the brightest minds from the world’s leading universities, along with industry partners, supporters, and media, will travel from as far as North and South America, Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and Oceania.
‘It signifies the esteem this event commands worldwide and the global focus on accelerating climate change solutions by encouraging STEM skills and next-gen ideation’ she said.
Minister for Major Events, Northern Territory Government, Paul Kirby said traversing Australia’s outback, across some of the most remote places in the world, the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge offers communities a unique opportunity to see firsthand the world’s most efficient electric cars and meet the teams behind the scenes.
‘The incredible innovation, technology and career opportunities will be on show through school and industry engagement and key activities in Darwin, and then on route as teams make their way south towards Adelaide,’ he said.
Event Director, Chris Selwood AM, said the quest for efficiency never ends making the BWSC even more relevant today than when first run in 1987. As consumers increasingly look to more sustainable options to petrol driven cars and governments strive for renewable energy solutions, this event raises awareness to the possibilities of not just what could be, but what can be achieved now. It is the ultimate proving ground over 3,000 kilometres.
‘This year we will welcome first time locations of Estonia and Romania, international ‘top guns’, new and emerging teams and a strong home-grown contingent, with eight Australian teams to fly the Aussie flag. South Australia will be represented by ‘F.A.S.T’ from Flinders University, ‘AUSRT from the University of Adelaide and new composite student, teacher and industry team, the South Australian Solar Vehicle Association. They will be joined by new Victorian team, ASCEND, from Deakin University, the ANU team from Canberra; Queensland’s Clenergy Team Arrow; Sunswift from the University of NSW, and the Western Sydney Solar Team from Western Sydney University,’ Mr Selwood said.
‘I expect the Challenger Class to be a closely contested battle, as 32 high-tech, aerodynamic speed machines, from 18 locations, attempt to outpace Belgian Champions, Innoptus Solar Team, whose consistency put an end to Dutch dominance in 2019. The three Dutch teams, Brunel Solar Team, Team Twente, and Top Dutch, are fiercely competitive, as are past champions, Japan’s Team Tokai, and American Solar Champions University of Michigan. Then there’s the Swiss, Swedish, Australian, and German teams – anything can happen over 3,000 kilometres.
‘But the point of this challenge has always been to bring sustainable mobility to market. This year our Cruiser Class of solar electric vehicles charged with taking the green to the mainstream, has 11 teams from 9 locations. The Cruiser’s end goal is to deliver a practical, energy efficient, marketable solar electric car. They must travel more than 1,000 kilometres before external charging, making check points within time-windows by managing their energy consumption down to the minute. Final judging will occur in Adelaide.
‘The value of this event extends well beyond solar cars and the 3,000 kilometre they travel. The value lies in its people and the lessons they learn. Our alumni are a cohort of high achieving changemakers, from global highflyers to garage start-ups. I can’t wait to see what they’ll challenge us with this year,’ Mr Selwood concluded.
Celebrating a decade as the event’s title partner, Bridgestone showcased its commitment to sustainable global motorsport by announcing the largest cohort of Bridgestone supported teams in the history of the BWSC.
Bridgestone Australia & New Zealand Managing Director, Heath Barclay, said the BWSC is a key activity in the 60th anniversary celebrations of Bridgestone Motorsport, playing a unique role in the convergence of motorsport, and sustainable solutions.
'We are delighted to see the return of this incredible event and are excited to continue expanding our involvement. The Bridgestone World Solar Challenge provides us with an ideal platform to develop and showcase our tyres for innovative vehicles and support the development of mobility solutions around the world. Bridgestone remains committed to the BWSC as a demonstration of our transformation towards a sustainable solutions company through the development of new tyre technology. The BWSC plays a key role in our support of global motorsport culture, as a sustainable solutions company.’
To see the full list of teams, Click here