Beginning the analysis of my Solar Racing Basics Poster (see this tag), there are two main classes in the World Solar Challenge. The Challenger class is easiest to understand: highly aerodynamic single-occupant cars scored only on the time taken for the race from Darwin to Adelaide (with no external charging allowed, other than an initial full battery). The Challenger class cars show us the limits of what current technology can achieve.
The Cruiser class consists of more realistic multi-occupant cars, with proper doors and interiors. Some teams field two-seater cars, and some four-seater “family” cars. The Cruiser class cars show us options for what commercial solar cars might look like. Cruisers are scored on distance travelled, time taken, passengers carried, external charging along the way (if any), and “practicality” judging. A rather complex formula combines all those factors. To read more about Cruiser class scoring, see my previous posts:
Click to zoom / Image credits: Anthony Dekker (Challenger class car from Agoria and Cruiser class car from Eindhoven, both winners in 2019)