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27 Oct 2023


The CSIRO solar electric Cruiser Class had their moment in the sun today – arriving on the City of Adelaide finish line from 1pm.

Leading the charge on energy efficiency points, Australia’s Sunswift 7, was the first to celebrate under the arch, followed by US Minnesota team in Gaia second place on the points tally.

Supporters of first time Estonian team Solaride were bowled over by the performance of their solar electric car, Solaride 2. The Solaride team was greeted by one of Australia’s most renowned fast bowlers, Brett Lee, who has been supporting the team along the way – the Cruiser competition is more a Test Match than a T20!

Event Director Chris Selwood AM acknowledged the difficult conditions this year’s team faced.

‘After successfully completing the first stage, driving from Darwin to Tennant Creek where they could charge externally, none of the teams were able to complete the arduous second stage - the first time this has happened in the history of the class,’ Chris said.

‘The teams in this event are testing cutting edge technology, often not in market and driving beyond the range of current electric vehicles. To win the Cruiser Class takes a combination of strategic energy management, endurance and more than a little style. These solar electric cars designed to bring the green to the mainstream have never been about being first across the line. Judging for the cruisers combines the on-road component, which will now be calculated from the first stage, followed by the practicality judging tomorrow’ Chris said.

A panel of international adjudicators will score each entry based on design innovation, environmental impact, ease of access, interior comfort, style, and desirability.

Other Cruisers to cross the line today included, Taiwan’s Apollo IX, Aussie entrants and Deakin University team  ASCEND. Also celebrating their adventure were Flinders Automotive Solar Racing team in Investigator IV, Thailand’s Siam Technology in STC-4, China’s Sun Shuttle, Italy’s Futorosolare, and Hong Kong’s VTC in Sophie 8.

Projecta Challenger Class teams also continued to cross the finish line today. Japan’s Team Tokai who made it into Adelaide last night, just over one minute before close of day, celebrated on the finish line first thing this morning. They were followed by Netherlands Top Dutch, Ju Solar from Sweden, Japan’s Kogakuin and Australia’s highest placed Challenger, Western Sydney in Unlimited 5.0. Rounding out the Top 10 still competing was Canada’s Eclipse. Expected across the line today are UK’s Durham in DUSC2023.  

With the strong headwinds and smoky conditions eight teams to date have been forced to trailer, with potentially more unable to make it into Adelaide before 6pm.

For the full leaderboard and to follow team progress visit the VAILO Car Tracker.

Photo Credit: Frankie The Creative