World Solar Challenge: The Cruisers


The 12 teams in the Cruiser class for 2015 (click to zoom)

The World Solar Challenge Cruiser class, for “practical” solar vehicles, has these 12 entries this year:

Click on the symbol for detailed team profiles, or on the team social media icons for more information.



Singapore Polytechnic’s SunSPEC4 under construction (top) and Lodz’s Eagle One being unveiled (bottom)

What makes the Cruiser class interesting is that there are different design philosophies that can win. In 2013, Solar Team Eindhoven fielded a futuristic “family car,” while the University of New South Wales / Sunswift fielded a sleek two-seater “sports car.” Here are the 2013 Cruiser class results, calculated according to the formula in the rules (each bar on the left is the sum of the four bars corresponding to the components):

This was the 2013 formula:

This year, the formula is:

That is, the external energy use component has decreased from 18.9% to 15% (also, there is only one opportunity to recharge externally – at Alice Springs), the speed component has increased from 56.6% to 70%, the passenger-carrying component has decreased slightly from 5.7% to 5%, and the practicality-judging component has decreased from 18.9% to 10% (as well as taking design philosophy into account). These changes seem to work against Eindhoven’s “family car” strategy, and in favour of UNSW’s “sports car” approach. Indeed, if the new rules had been applied in 2013, Eindhoven’s “family car” may still have won, but by a much smaller margin, and UNSW would have come at least second.

But that was then; this is now. Bochum has fielded the exciting-looking “ThyssenKrupp SunRiser,” Eindhoven has updated their vehicle (see below), and the field has increased from 8 entrants to 12. Anything can happen!


Eindhoven’s new Stella Lux (photo: TU Eindhoven / Bart van Overbeeke)

Note: this page was updated on 29 October 2015 at 10:20 AUS Eastern Daylight Time

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17 thoughts on “World Solar Challenge: The Cruisers

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