INNOVATION FOR A BRIGHTER FUTURE
For over 30 years, the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge has welcomed the greatest minds from around the world to Australia to push the limits of technological innovation and travel the outback in a vehicle powered only by the energy of the sun.
Teams, usually comprising of tertiary and secondary students, traverse 3,000 kilometres from Darwin to Adelaide in a solar-powered vehicle designed, engineered and built with their own hands.
Teams of the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge bring the world's foremost innovation challenge to list - delivering sustainable personal transport.
Our event, the world’s biggest and most prestigious solar challenge, began in 1987 and occurs once every two years. In 2019, a record 53 entries from 24 countries were received and around 1,500 participants were observed and followed by a global audience of more than 25 million. The event generates industry partnerships across energy, automotive, engineering, financial, material sciences, and IT sectors. And Bridgestone World Solar Challenge alumni have progressed from participation in our event to employment with some of the world's leading engineering, automotive, and sustainable transport companies.
Based on the original notion that a 1000W car would complete the journey in 50 hours, solar cars are allowed a nominal 5kW hours of stored energy, which is 10% of that theoretical figure. All other energy must come from the sun or be recovered from the kinetic energy of the vehicle. These are arguably the most efficient electric vehicles.
Having made the journey to Darwin by successfully navigating quarantine, customs, scrutineering, safety inspections and undertaken event briefings, participants start their epic road journey.
Once the teams have left Darwin they must travel as far as they can until 5:00pm in the afternoon where they make camp in the desert wherever they happen to be. All teams must be fully self-sufficient and for all concerned it is a great adventure. Many say the adventure of a lifetime.
During the journey there are 9 mandatory check points where Observers are changed and Team Managers may update themselves with the latest information on the weather and their position in the field. At check points, teams can perform the most basic of maintenance only: checking and maintenance of tyre pressure and cleaning of debris from the vehicle.
Participating teams enter their vehicle into one of the following three classes:
The Challenger Class is conducted in a single stage from Darwin to Adelaide.
The Cruiser Class is conducted as 3 x 1,000km stages without recharging.
The Adventure Class is a non-competitive class which provides opportunity for cars built for previous events.
Learn more about the three classes here.