Vattenfall Solar Team world record attempt

In 2017, Vattenfall (then Nuon) Solar Team in their car Nuna8S set a solar racing endurance record at the RDW (Netherlands Vehicle Authority) test track in Lelystad, NL of 882 km in 12 hours or 73.5 km/h (see Dutch video here).

On Saturday 8 August this year they hope to break their own record in the Nuna Phoenix which they originally intended to race at the now-cancelled American Solar Challenge (this car is, I understand, Nuna9S with a variety of changes made specifically for ASC, including a metal roll cage and a motor suitable for climbing mountains).

According to media reports, they will begin with a full battery, but then run only on solar power for the next 12 hours (this is in contrast to the 24-hour European Solar Challenge, where two recharges are permitted during the night). For their event, Vattenfall Solar Team will have four drivers, each taking on a 3-hour stint (Marloes Nanninga, Maxime Croft, Sylke van der Kleij, and Mees van Vliet). Nuna Phoenix will begin driving at around 7:00 local time. I understand from live streams that they are also water-cooling the panel at driver changes.

The weather forecast is for sun (with increasing clouds). This webcam and this one show weather at the harbour nearby (looking away from the track). For updates, see the team social media at 

Previously, Vattenfall won WSC 13; won WSC 15; won WSC 17; came 12th at WSC 19 (after their NunaX was destroyed by fire); won SASOL 14; won SASOL 16; and won SASOL 18.

Edit 1: This 12-hour endurance event also includes the first public reveal of Nuna Phoenix. The event has now begun.

Edit 2: Nuna Phoenix has clocked up approximately 126 km in 90 minutes so far (84 km/h).

Edit 3: Now it’s approximately 238 km in 3 hours (79.3 km/h).

Edit 4: Nuna Phoenix has now clocked up 355 km in 285 minutes (74.7 km/h, which suggests that they are being cautious about possible clouds coming in).

Edit 5: Now it’s approximately 538 km in 7 hours (76.9 km/h).

Edit 6: At the last driver change (9 hours) it’s 670 km (74.4 km/h).

Edit 7: After 12 hours, Vattenfall Solar Team have indeed set a new world record of 924 km (77 km/h), following a late sprint (reaching at least 97 km/h). Well done!

For teams interested in challenging this record, my proposal would be that the format used by Vattenfall Solar Team be followed, in a car designed for (and ideally, having passed scrutineering in) either WSC, ASC, or SSC within the previous 3 years (I exclude ESC from that list, because of its different format). Not that many teams have a car as fast as Nuna Phoenix, of course!


5 thoughts on “Vattenfall Solar Team world record attempt

    • If I understand you correctly, you are saying that Nuna Phoenix = Nuna9S + changes required for ASC (new roll cage, etc.).

      That may well be the case. It certainly looks like it.

      • I believe it is Nuna X, rebuilt after it burned to the ground out of the lead on the last day of WSC2019, plus changes required to comply with ASC2020 regulations

      • Having seen the instagram reveal, it looks very much like Nuna9, and not really like NunaX. I haven’t seen an official statement on what they did, although Facebook live feeds suggest that they added a metal roll cage and new motor to Nuna9, together with some other changes.

  1. Pingback: Solar Car World Record | Scientific Gems

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