The Bridgestone World Solar Challenge is primarily a design competition to discover the world’s most efficient electric car.
This biennial event seeks to inspire some of the brightest young people on the planet to address the imperatives of sustainable transport. The event features two main classes that represent the diversity of solar EVs and their differing design philosophies.
The Challenger Class is the classic solarcar born of original concept: Build a car capable of driving from Darwin to Adelaide on the silent power of nature. They are required to travel from Darwin to Adelaide (c.3000km) in a single stage, with teams stippling and making camp in the desert wherever they are at 5pm (NT time). It is an extreme endurance challenge where the secrets of success will include efficiency, reliability and attention to detail.
Cruiser Class entrants build advanced concept cars that test ideas that may come to market one day. Cruiser Class cars must be practical, seat a minimum of two people and manage their energy requirements over 1000 km stages. As a Regularity Trail they must keep pace and meet strict time targets. During the event they will be part of experiments conducted by Australia's peak scientific body CSIRO, measuring the impact of electric vehicles on the electricity supply network. Once in Adelaide Cruiser Class teams must present their cars to a panel of judges who will award a 'practicality' score, thus emulating the real-world problem industrial designers face every day.
The event maintains an Adventure Class as a placeholder for cars designed for previous events (perhaps being run by a new team) or anything the Organiser believes will add value to the event. Adventure class cars will meet all current safety standards and, as non competitive participants have progress controlled by the Clerk of the Course.