Final words on the European Solar Challenge

Further to my post on the European Solar Challenge results, here is a graph of the lap counts during the 24 hour track race (with thanks to Nigel for the data). Twente had an explicit strategy of not driving excessively fast, and braking as little as possible, in order to keep their recharge times to just one hour. This certainly paid off for them! The graph also shows those teams that had trouble of various kinds.


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5 thoughts on “Final words on the European Solar Challenge

  1. Hi Tony, just a quick question. Do you think the Teslas could’ve done better with a better strategy/driver? Or was the way the Tesla White ended close to the best way possible?

    • That I couldn’t say. It would depend on the weight, battery capacity, motor efficiency, drag coefficient, and steering capacity of the Teslas compared to the top solar cars. Solarracing.org might have a better idea, although it seems to me that the efficiency of the top solar cars balanced out the battery advantage of the Tesla S.

      I did notice that the Tesla White seemed to have the same 2-charge strategy as Twente (the US EPA gives the range of the Tesla S as only 106 laps, although the Tesla Grey managed to extend this slightly by running slower), and the Tesla White seemed to drive roughly as fast as Twente, but the Tesla White did not seem to be quite as consistent in maintaining speed.

      It’s possible that the Tesla drivers were not quite as hungry to win as the solar car teams – kind of like the old story about the fox running for his dinner vs the rabbit running for his life – but it’s also clear that the top solar cars are indeed very, very efficient.

  2. Pingback: A solar car racing year | Scientific Gems

  3. Tony,
    where did you get de data? Could you send them to me?
    I was racing in the tesla white strategy was 50 km/h to use 85 + 100 2 x 1 hour charging and have max range. Tesla grey ran for max distance on first 90 charge.
    Filip

    • Thanks very much for sharing that. I see you almost caught Twente at around 20 hours, but then the sun came out, I guess.

      The data’s not mine, but I’ll ask.

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