Nine fantastic WSC cars from Delft: 2001–2017 (photos: Vattenfall Solar Team)
Here is a further update on the 47 teams (29 Challengers, 18 Cruisers, and no Adventure cars) from 23 countries aiming for the 2019 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge in Australia this coming October. Below is my best understanding of the current team status, updated to match the official list of teams (sadly, Appalachian State University have dropped out, as have Golden State). Teams are sorted in team number order.
There is an ASC-style documentation progress chart this year. We have seen car reveals from Chalmers, Eclipse (pic), HUST (pic), Top Dutch (video), Twente (video), Blue Sky (video), Kogakuin (video), MDH (pic), CalSol, Agoria (video), Eindhoven (video), HK IVE (pic), NITech (pic), SER (pic), Vattenfall (video), Michigan (video), Minnesota (video), Solaris (pic), Stanford (pic), Aachen (video), Singapore (pic), Onda (video), WSU (pic), STC (video), Durham (pic), KUST, and Cambridge (pic).
Promised new car reveals include EcoPhoton: 23 August and JU: 30 August. There has been no word on a reveal from 8 teams (Antakari, Tokai, ANU, Mines Rabat, Beijing, Dyuti, Estidamah, and ATN). Apart from Tokai, they are all probably in some degree of trouble.
Asymmetric GaAs challenger (new car: Nuna X) – these are the champions formerly known as Nuon. See their 2017 aftermovie. The new car weighs just 135 kg (298 lbs) and has a unique asymmetrical rear (designed to take advantage of October winds coming primarily from the east). They revealed their car on 16 July (video).
Challenger (new car: Intikallpa V) – no news on the new design as yet. There has been no word on a car reveal.
Monohull single junction GaAs challenger (new team with car: Green Lightning) – their car is a bullet car resembling Michigan’s 2017 Novum. It looks so good that at this stage I’m calling them “best new team.” Their car has four-wheel steering at low speed and two-wheel steering at high speed. There are Dutch media reports about their plans, and they are vlogging weekly (in Dutch, but they have started adding English subtitles). They revealed their car on 12 June (video).
Asymmetric challenger (Lumen II Mk II) – they have been doing a lot of testing.
Asymmetric GaAs challenger (new car: BluePoint) – they are now sponsored by Agoria. They held a mock race with the old car. Their new car looks very similar. They revealed their car on 3 July (video).
Previously, Agoria came 6th at WSC 13; came 5th at WSC 15; came 3rd at WSC 17; came 3rd at Abu Dhabi 15; came 2nd at iESC 16; and came 6th at iESC 18. Their team number (8) is a long-standing tradition.
Four-seat cruiser (Emilia 4 LT) – they won the American Solar Challenge (Cruiser class) last year, and they have written up their design process here, but they have since made substantial improvements to the vehicle, including to the aerodynamics, suspension, battery, and solar panels. There is also an unusual open tail. They revealed their car on 31 July (video).
Previously, Onda came 10th at WSC 13; won the ASC 18 Cruiser class; came 10th at Abu Dhabi 15; and came 6th at iESC 16. Their team number (9) is taken from the SS 9, the highway through Bologna, which was once the Roman Via Aemilia (hence also the name of their vehicle).
Challenger (new car: Tokai Challenger) – in January they hosted some visitors from Lodz. There has been no word on a car reveal.
Previously, Bochum came 2nd in the WSC 13 Cruiser class; came 3rd in the WSC 15 Cruiser class; came 2nd in the WSC 17 Cruiser class; came 3rd, 4th, and 5th at iESC 16; came 2nd, 3rd, and 5th in the iESC 18 Cruiser class; came 1st and 7th at Albi Eco 18; and came 1st and 2nd at Albi Eco 19.
Three-seat cruiser (Investigator Mk 3) – they are planning to improve aerodynamics, reduce weight, and make some other changes.
Previously, Flinders participated in the WSC 17 Cruiser class.
Monohull GaAs challenger (new car: Unlimited 3.0) – they won the American Solar Challenge last year (with their car Unlimited 2.0), but have built a hot new “bullet car” this year. They revealed their car on 7 August (pic).
Asymmetric GaAs challenger (new car: RED E) – they are already producing regular vlogs (in Dutch), and have also produced an (English) day-in-the-life blog post. Their design is an incredibly tiny GaAs catamaran with shingled solar cells. They developed a MOOC explaining the design of their 2015 car, and there is an online game of their new car. They revealed their car on 21 June (video).
Previously, Twente came 3rd at WSC 13; came 2nd at WSC 15; came 5th at WSC 17; won iESC 16; and came 1st and 2nd at iESC 18. Their team number (21) is a pun and a wish for success in the race (“Twente-One”).
Classic symmetric challenger (Viking) – this year’s car is an improved version of their 2017 car, with better aerodynamics and electronics. In particular, the two “bites” on the side have been filled in. They revealed their car on 29 June (pic).
Previously, MDH participated at WSC 17.
Outrigger challenger (new team with car: Heart Three) – their render showed a bullet car, much like Michigan’s 2017 entry, although the chassis suggests outriggers of some kind (with the associated drag issues). They revealed their car on 11 June (pic), but without any really good pictures of the completed vehicle.
Two-seat cruiser (Sophie 6s) – their car is a modification of Sophie 6 from 2017. They revealed their car on 6 July (pic).
30 Team Arrow
Two-seat cruiser (ArrowSTF) – they made a six-month-out update video.
Previously, Arrow came 7th at WSC 13; came 8th at WSC 15; came 3rd in the WSC 17 Cruiser class; came 5th at Abu Dhabi 15; and came 8th at iESC 18. Their team number (30) is the average age of people on the original team.
Asymmetric challenger (SER-3) – they raced this car in South Africa, but have made some improvements. They revealed the car on 10 July, prior to sending it to Australia by sea.
Two-seat cruiser (Eos II) – they are building a new car, but will race an upgraded version of their existing one for BWSC 19 (revealing the upgrade on 19 July).
Previously, Minnesota came 4th in the WSC 13 Cruiser class; came 5th in the WSC 15 Cruiser class; participated in the WSC 17 Cruiser class; came 2nd at ASC 14; came equal 10th at ASC 16; and came equal 2nd in the ASC 18 Cruiser class. Their team number (35) is derived from the Interstate 35 highway.
Asymmetric challenger (Musoushin) – this high-school team always does very well.
Previously, Eindhoven won the WSC 13 Cruiser class; won the WSC 15 Cruiser class; won the WSC 17 Cruiser class; and came 7th in the iESC 18 Cruiser class. Their team number (40) is the Eindhoven telephone area code.
Asymmetric challenger (new car: MTAA Super Charge 2) – they have a shell, produced by Sydney Composites. There has been no word on a car reveal.
Previously, ANU participated at WSC 17.
Two-seat cruiser (SAV) – this time they will tow the trailer that belongs with the car.
Two-seat cruiser (Ardingly Solar Car) – this high-school team came 6th in the iESC Cruiser class, but have upgraded the car since then.
Previously, Lodz participated in the WSC 15 Cruiser class; participated in the WSC 17 Cruiser class; came 5th at SASOL 16; and won the iESC 18 Cruiser class. Their team number (45) is a tradition since 2015.
Monohull challenger (new car: Horizon Ace) – their car resembles Tokyo’s 2017 vehicle. They revealed their car on 6 July (pic).
Two-seat cruiser (new car: STC-3) – they have a unique passenger-behind-driver Cruiser design. They revealed their car on 8 August (video).
Outrigger challenger (new team with car: Alfrödull) – their final render resembles the car of the South African NWU team. They have a rolling chassis, which they revealed in May. Their shipping date was in July. See their promo video here.
Asymmetric challenger (new car: Eleadora 2) – they have a shell, but the shipping date must be approaching fast.
Classic symmetric challenger (new car: Areej 1) – they had hoped to race at ASC 2018, but did not make it. They showed their rolling chassis but did not formally reveal the completed car. The car name is a pun: AREG/Areej is an acronym for Alfaisal Renewable Energy Group but also means “the scent of a flowery garden” in Arabic. Amjad Alamri appears to be one of the drivers.
Four-seat 16-kWh cruiser (new car: Tachyon) – they revealed their new car at FSGP. Their average speed at FSGP was 46.3 km/h, compared to 52.8 km/h for Esteban (the leading single-occupant vehicle). This raises some doubts as to whether they can make the WSC on-road target speed of around 75 km/h.
Monohull challenger (new car: Viridian) – they have a great-looking bullet car this year. They revealed their car on 24 June (video).
80 Beijing Institute of Technology
Four-seat cruiser (new car: Sun Shuttle III). There has been no word on a car reveal.
Asymmetric challenger (new car: Man-Se) – they “revealed” their car in a private ceremony on 14 August. Pictures are in circulation on Facebook, but not publicly.
Four-seat cruiser (new team with car: WattSun) – I am not sure how much progress, if any, the company has made on a car (this small company was only registered in May, and appears to occupy co-working space above a shopping mall). There has been no word on a car reveal.
Previously, Kogakuin came 14th at WSC 13; came 2nd in the WSC 15 Cruiser class; and came 7th at WSC 17. Their team number (88) is multi-faceted (88 is a lucky number in Japanese kanji; 4 wheels looks like 88; and the team garage is in Hachioji city, with ‘hachi’ meaning ‘eight’).
Asymmetric challenger (new car: Sana) – this was formerly the Seraaj team. There has been no word on a car reveal.
Asymmetric challenger (Éclipse X.I) – they came an excellent 3rd in the ASC, 102 minutes behind Western Sydney, and hope to go even faster with the new battery pack in their modified car. Their improvements are summarised in their winter newsletter. They revealed their car on 10 June (pic).
Two-seat cruiser (new team) – their team is a mixture of lecturers and students from five universities across Australia. They have tested a model in a wind tunnel. There has been no word on a car reveal.
This page last updated 19:50 on 19 August 2019 AEST. Thanks to Nigel for several news items.