Solar Car Racing Team Sizes


Solar Team Eindhoven

I’ve been hearing some curiosity about the sizes of solar car teams, and so I checked out the online team lists for Punch, Bochum, Twente, Eindhoven, Nuon, Lodz, Michigan, MIT, PrISUm, and Sunswift. The histogram below summarises what I found. The superb Bochum team is the largest, with 77 members. Champions Nuon have the smallest team, with 16. Apparently it’s not just size that is important.

See also my list of WSC solar car teams.


A solar car racing year

Here is a salute to the winners of the major solar car races this year:

Congratulations to Equipo Solar KAN, Michigan, Twente, and Nuon… and looking forward to seeing teams from across the world in Australia a year from now!


Sasol Solar Challenge Results

I have somewhat neglected the Sasol Solar Challenge in South Africa, which has been running for the past few days, but here are the official results, plus a photo of the winning team. Special congratulations also go to Lodz Solar Team – the best (and only!) Cruiser in the race – and to the Maragon Solar Eagles, a high school team that did very well. Distances travelled include optional “loops” driven by the teams at selected locations.


World Solar Challenge: the board game!

Readers of this blog will know that I am passionate about science / technology / engineering / mathematics education, and that I am passionate about board games, and that I am passionate about solar car racing (with the ESC and the Sasol Solar Challenge coming up soon). Wouldn’t it be great if those three things could be combined?

Well, now they can! To assist solar car teams with education/outreach efforts, I’ve put together a simple board game based on the World Solar Challenge, and aimed mostly at kids. It looks like this:

The online game store (faciliated by the wonderful people at The Game Crafter) has a free download link for the rules, should anyone wish to take a look. I also have a few other educational games there.


Sasol Solar Challenge Update #2

Here are the 14 solar car teams that will be competing in the Sasol Solar Challenge in South Africa this year, with clickable social media links. The event will run from September 24 to October 2 (thus overlapping with the ESC), with scrutineering beginning on September 20. The Sasol Solar Challenge has had a very poor internet presence, and Google has been reporting their website as hacked, but you can follow the race on Facebook and on Twitter.

TR  Anadolu Solar Team 

This team came 19th in the Challenger class at WSC 2015. Their car has been shipped to South Africa. They are one of 12 entries in the Challenger class for this race.

ZA  German School in Johannesburg (DSJ) 

This is a local team. They are one of 12 entries in the Challenger class for this race.

HU  Kecskemét College GAMF (Megalux) 

This team came 7th in the Challenger class at WSC 2015. Their car has been shipped to South Africa. They are one of 12 entries in the Challenger class for this race.

PL  Lodz Solar Team 

This team competed in the Cruiser class at WSC 2015. Their car has been shipped to South Africa. They are the only entry in the Cruiser class for this race.

ZA  Mangosuthu University of Technology (MUT) Solar Team

This is a local team. They are one of 12 entries in the Challenger class for this race.

ZA  Maragon Solar Eagles 

This is a local team. They are one of 12 entries in the Challenger class for this race.

Near East University Solar Car Team

This team is one of 12 entries in the Challenger class for this race.

ZA  North West University 

This team came 11th in the Challenger class at WSC 2015. They are a local team, and are one of 12 entries in the Challenger class for this race.

NL  Nuon Solar Team 

This team came 1st in the Challenger class at WSC 2015. Nuon left for South Africa a month before the race, in spite of a nasty crash just before leaving. They are one of 12 entries in the Challenger class for this race.

ZA  PI 21 Solar Team

This is a local team. They are one of 12 entries in the Challenger class for this race.

JP  Tokai University 

This team came 7th in the 2015 Abu Dhabi Solar Challenge, and 3rd in the Challenger class at WSC 2015. They are one of 12 entries in the Challenger class for this race.

ZA  Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) Solar Car 

This is a local team. They are one of 12 entries in the Challenger class for this race.

ZA  UJ Solar Car 

This is a local team. They are one of 12 entries in the Challenger class for this race.

ZA  ZingCO Electric Vehicle

This is a local team. They are the only entry in the Sustainability class for this race.

The map below shows the race route. To score a longer distance, teams can also drive loops at Sasolburg, Deneysville, Winburg, Theunissen, Edenburg, Reddersburg, Jansenville, Klipplaat, Humansdorp, Mossel Bay, Caledon and Genadendal.

This post last updated 22:41 on 31 August 2016 AEST


Sasol Solar Challenge Update

The Sasol Solar Challenge in South Africa ( ) is still calling on solar car teams to sign up before the May 1 deadline, but here is my updated list of teams who say they are attending:

Nuon Solar Team (Netherlands)

Nuon won the 2014 Sasol Solar Challenge and the 2015 World Solar Challenge. They are the clear favourites for this year’s event.


Nuon’s Nuna7S in South Africa in 2014 (photo: Nuon Solar Team)

Tokai (Japan)

It seems that Tokai will be back in South Africa this year, to challenge Nuon for first place.


The Tokai team in Australia in 2015 (my photo)

North-West University (South Africa)

NWU came 11th in the the 2015 World Solar Challenge, ahead of South African rivals UKZN. They should do well on home turf this year.


NWU’s Sirius X25 in Australia in 2015 (my photo)

Lodz Solar Team (Poland)

The team from Lodz will, I understand, be taking their lovely Eagle One cruiser to South Africa this year.


Eagle One in Australia in 2015 (my photo)

Sheffield Hallam University (UK)

This seems to be a new team, who are building an old-school symmetrical 4-wheel car.

Anadolu Solar Team (Turkey)

Anadolu were in the top 20 at WSC15. If I understand their (Tukish) web page correctly, they are off to South Africa as well.

Not competing this year are UKZN.

Update: Google is reporting the Sasol Solar Challenge website as potentially hacked (and a quick glance at the page HTML makes it clear why), so exercise more than usual caution. Trend Micro, scanurl.net, and urlvoid.com report no major concerns, but the website is of limited value anyway, being mostly about the 2014 race.


The Sasol Solar Challenge

This year’s Sasol Solar Challenge in South Africa is calling on solar car teams to sign up before May 1. The event will take place from September 24 to October 1 this year. Unlike the World Solar Challenge in Australia, it is a distance-based race, with a main course of about 2,000 km from Pretoria to Cape Town, and the possibility of driving additional loops up to 4,000 km or more. All the World Solar Challenge classes are permitted, plus the FIA Olympia class. Confirmed teams so far include:

Nuon Solar Team (Netherlands)

Nuon won the 2014 Sasol Solar Challenge and the 2015 World Solar Challenge. They are the clear favourites for this year’s event.


Nuon’s Nuna7S in South Africa in 2014 (photo: Nuon Solar Team)

North-West University (South Africa)

NWU came 11th in the the 2015 World Solar Challenge, ahead of South African rivals UKZN. They should do well on home turf this year.


NWU’s Sirius X25 in Australia in 2015 (my photo)

A number of other local and international teams have also expressed interest.

Update 1: Apparently Sheffield Hallam University will be there too ( ). They seem to be a new team, who are building an old-school symmetrical 4-wheel car.

Update 2: And it seems Tokai will be back in South Africa, duking it out with Nuon ( ).

Further updates here.