Solar car map of the Netherlands plus borderlands

Below (click to zoom) is a solar car map of the Netherlands (north, south, east, west), plus the German cities of Aachen & Bochum and the Belgian city of Leuven, which are close enough to the Dutch border to be in the map region. That’s 7 solar car teams in a very small corner of the world! (base map modified from one by Alphathon).


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World Solar Challenge car dimensions

The charts above and below (click to zoom) show the dimensions of some of the Challenger-class cars in the World Solar Challenge coming up this October (see also my illustrated teams list). In the chart above, ⬤ = cars with silicon arrays (4 m2 allowed), ⬛ = thin film single junction (3.56 m2 allowed), and ▲ = multijunction gallium arsenide (2.64 m2 allowed). All three technologies are in use this year. Hollow symbols denote cars from 2017.

Particularly noticeable is Twente’s incredibly shrinking car. They switched technologies this year, but were also so efficient that their new car is about 18% smaller than Delft’s – almost a square metre smaller! There are also three visible clusters – larger silicon-array cars at the top right, compact catamarans (like Twente and Delft) at the left, and monohulls at the bottom right. In the chart below, solid lines show dimensions for this year, and dotted lines those of 2017.

Update: the width of Eclipse’s entry has been corrected (the impact attenuator has been removed for WSC).


Another quick solar racing update


Four recently revealed vehicles: Top Dutch, Twente, Blue Sky (Toronto), and Kogakuin

In recent solar car news, we have now seen new car reveals from HUST (pic), Top Dutch (video), Twente (video), Blue Sky (video), the commercial solar car Lightyear One (video), Kogakuin (video), and – just now – Agoria (video and below).


The new car from Belgian team Agoria (photo credit)

Promised new car reveals include Eindhoven4 July, HK IVE6 July, NIT6 July, Vattenfall16 July, Michigan19 July, Aachen22 July, and JU30 August. I will continue updating my list of teams as news and pictures come in.


Esteban were first to get all greens in scrutineering for FSGP 2019

Meanwhile, 18 teams – Kentucky, Florida, CalSol (1st in 2017), Northwestern, Mich St, Illinois St, Illini, Waterloo, Principia, Ga Tech, Esteban (3rd in 2017), SIUE, Calgary, Rutgers, NJIT, NCSU, W Mich, and UPRM – are at FSGP 2019 right now. Esteban were first to get all greens!


2019 World Solar Challenge quick update

A busy few days in the world of solar car racing! Michigan has announced that their new car will be called Electrum. Top Dutch revealed their car (see above and this video). Wisely, they choose a design different from the other Dutch teams. It looks so good that at this stage I’m calling them “best new team.” Is it good enough to have an all-Dutch podium, though?

The other big reveal was Twente, the first top-five team to reveal their car (see below, this press release, and this video). It’s a fantastic-looking vehicle, and if it’s as fast as it looks, Twente should do well. For more details on BWSC teams, see my recently updated teams list #6.

2019 World Solar Challenge teams list


The race runs from 13–20 October

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 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, and I have included team travel plans (where known). As always, the social media links are clickable.

There is an ASC-style documentation progress chart this year. In terms of physical progress, most cars have been revealed by now. Promised new car reveals include only JU30 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, those teams are all probably in some degree of trouble.

Except for countries close to Australia, the deadline for sea freight has pretty much passed. Teams that had planned on flying out their car to Australia are beginning to do so. People have started flying out as well, with Eindhoven the first overseas team to arrive in the country. One other team has since joined them.

US    University of Michigan 

Monohull GaAs challenger (new car: Electrum) – their car name is the name of a gold/silver alloy famous in antiquity. They revealed their car on 19 July (video). As far as I know, the team is still at home.

Previously, Michigan came 9th at WSC 13; came 4th at WSC 15; came 2nd at WSC 17; won ASC 14; won ASC 16; came 2nd at ASC 18; and won Abu Dhabi 15. Their team number (2) is a long-standing tradition.

NL    Vattenfall Solar Team (Delft) 

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). The car has clocked up many test kilometres. They revealed their car on 16 July (video). As far as I know, the team is still at home.

Previously, Vattenfall won WSC 13; won WSC 15; won WSC 17; won SASOL 14; won SASOL 16; and won SASOL 18. Their team number (3) is a long-standing tradition.

CL  Looks like they might not make WSC  Antakari Solar Team 

Challenger (new car: Intikallpa V) – their social media has gone rather quiet. There has been no word on a car reveal. As far as I know, the team is still at home.

Previously, Antakari participated in the WSC 13 Adventure class and came 10th at WSC 17.


public domain photo

SG    Singapore Polytechnic 

Two-seat cruiser (SunSPEC 6) – their 2019 car is a modified version of their 2017 car SunSPEC 5. They revealed their car on 30 July (pic). As far as I know, the team is still at home.

Previously, Singapore came 16th at WSC 13; participated in the WSC 15 Cruiser class; and participated in the WSC 17 Cruiser class.

NL    Top Dutch Solar Racing 

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). The Netherlands 11th Airmobile Brigade provided some final training on dealing with unusual challenges. They are now in Quorn, SA. They plan to do some testing there. They plan to be in Darwin on 28 September.

AU    Adelaide University 

Asymmetric challenger (Lumen II Mk II) – they have been doing a lot of testing. As far as I know, the team is still at home.

Previously, Adelaide came 21st at WSC 15 and participated at WSC 17.

BE    Agoria Solar Team (KU Leuven) 

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). As far as I know, the team is still at home.

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.

IT    Onda Solare 

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). As far as I know, the team is still at home.

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).

10  JP  Hmmm  Tokai University 

Challenger (new car: Tokai Challenger) – in January they hosted some visitors from Lodz. There has been no word on a car reveal. As far as I know, the team is still at home.

Previously, Tokai came 2nd at WSC 13; came 3rd at WSC 15; came 4th at WSC 17; came 7th at Abu Dhabi 15; came 2nd at SASOL 16; and came 2nd at SASOL 18.

11  DE    Bochum University of Applied Sciences 

Two-seat cruiser (thyssenkrupp SunRiser) – Bochum is not building a new WSC car, but are improving their sexy 2-seater SunRiser, which came 3rd in 2015. They also have a solar buggy team. As far as I know, the team is still at home.

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.


photo: Anthony Dekker

12  GB    Cambridge University 

Four-seat cruiser (new car: Helia) – they have had motor problems. They revealed their car on 15 August (pic). As far as I know, the team is still at home.

Previously, Cambridge came 22nd at WSC 15 and came 10th at iESC 16.


photo: Nigel

14  AU    Flinders University 

Three-seat cruiser (Investigator Mk 3) – they are planning to improve aerodynamics, reduce weight, and make some other changes. As far as I know, the team is still at home.

Previously, Flinders participated in the WSC 17 Cruiser class.

15  AU    Western Sydney Solar Team 

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). As far as I know, the team is still at home. They plan to do some testing at Coober Pedy.

Previously, WSU came 11th at WSC 13; came 10th at WSC 15; came 6th at WSC 17; and won ASC 18.


photo: Anthony Dekker

16  US    Stanford Solar Car Project 

Monohull challenger (new car: Black Mamba) – they first showed us their shell, which is a unique asymmetric bullet car. They revealed their car on 21 July (pic). As far as I know, the team is still at home.

Previously, Stanford came 4th at WSC 13; came 6th at WSC 15; and came 9th at WSC 17.

18  MY    EcoPhoton (UiTM) 

Asymmetric challenger (new car: Tigris) – they revealed their car on Malaysian television on the morning of 20 August. As far as I know, the team is still at home.

Previously, EcoPhoton came 26th at WSC 15 and participated at WSC 17.

20  GB    Durham University 

Asymmetric challenger (new car: Ortus) – they report 24% lower drag and 28% lower weight than their previous car. They revealed their car on 12 August (pic). As far as I know, the team is still at home.

Previously, Durham came 27th at WSC 15 and participated at WSC 17.

21  NL    Solar Team Twente 

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). They have, once again, run an excellent simulated race. As far as I know, the team is still at home.

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”).

22  SE    MDH Solar Team 

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). As far as I know, the team is still at home.

Previously, MDH participated at WSC 17.

23  SE    Halmstad University Solar Team 

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. As far as I know, the team is still at home.

25  HK    Hong Kong Institute of Vocational Education 

Two-seat cruiser (Sophie 6s) – their car is a modification of Sophie 6 from 2017. They revealed their car on 6 July (pic). As far as I know, the team is still at home.

Previously, HK IVE participated in the WSC 13 Adventure class; participated in the WSC 15 Cruiser class; and participated in the WSC 17 Cruiser class.

30  AU    Team Arrow 

Two-seat cruiser (ArrowSTF) – they made a six-month-out update video. As far as I know, the team is still at home.

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.

31  CH    Solar Energy Racers 

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. As far as I know, the team is still at home.

Previously, SER came 5th at WSC 13; came 2nd at ASC 16; came 11th at Abu Dhabi 15; came 3rd at SASOL 18; and came 8th at iESC 16.

35  US    University of Minnesota Solar Vehicle Project 

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). As far as I know, the team is still at home.

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.

37  JP    Goko High School

Asymmetric challenger (Musoushin) – this high-school team always does very well. I am assuming that they have shipped the car. As far as I know, the team is still at home.

Previously, Goko came 5th in the WSC 13 Cruiser class; came 14th at WSC 15; and participated at WSC 17.

40  NL    Solar Team Eindhoven 

Four-seat cruiser (new car: Stella Era) – their new car has many cool features and a range of 1200 km. They revealed their car on 4 July (video). They are now in Adelaide (bonus pic). They plan to be in Darwin on 5 September.

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.

41  AU    Australian National University 

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. As far as I know, the team is still at home.

Previously, ANU participated at WSC 17.

42  AU    TAFE SA 

Two-seat cruiser (SAV) – this time they will tow the trailer that belongs with the car. As far as I know, the team is still at home.

Previously, TAFE SA came 7th in the WSC 13 Cruiser class; participated in the WSC 15 Adventure class; and participated in the WSC 17 Cruiser class.

43  GB    Ardingly College 

Two-seat cruiser (Ardingly Solar Car) – this high-school team came 6th in the iESC Cruiser class, but have upgraded the car since then. As far as I know, the team is still at home.

Previously, Ardingly participated in the WSC 15 Cruiser class; came 6th in the iESC 18 Cruiser class; and participated at Albi Eco 19.

45  PL    Lodz Solar Team 

Four-seat 60-kWh cruiser (Eagle Two) – they have upgraded and repainted their car, and improved the interior. As far as I know, the team is still at home.

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.

46  SE    JU Solar Team 

Asymmetric challenger (new car: Axelent) – they have a rolling test chassis, a body, and a battery. The body design seems long and thin. They will reveal their car on 30 August. As far as I know, the team is still at home.

Previously, JU came 20th at WSC 13; came 15th at WSC 15; and came 8th at WSC 17. Their team number (46) is the Swedish national telephone prefix.

47  JP    Nagoya Institute of Technology 

Monohull challenger (new car: Horizon Ace) – their car resembles Tokyo’s 2017 vehicle. They revealed their car on 6 July (pic). As far as I know, the team is still at home.

Previously, NITech came 16th at WSC 15 and came 12th at WSC 17.

49  TH    Siam Technical College 

Two-seat cruiser (new car: STC-3) – they have a unique passenger-behind-driver Cruiser design, which they have tested on the highway. They revealed their car on 8 August (video). As far as I know, the team is still at home.

Previously, STC came 28th at WSC 15 and participated in the WSC 17 Cruiser class.

51  SE    Chalmers Solar Team 

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. As far as I know, the team is still at home.

55  MA  Looks like they might not make WSC  Mines Rabat Solar Team 

Asymmetric challenger (new car: Eleadora 2) – they have a shell but not, as far as I can tell, a finished car. They appear to have run out of time to sea-freight their car. Hopefully, they can raise enough extra money to air-freight it (assuming it gets completed). There has been no word on a car reveal. As far as I know, the team is still at home.

63  SA    Alfaisal Solar Car Team 

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. As far as I know, the team is still at home.

66  US    Berkeley (CalSol) 

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. As far as I know, the team is still at home.

Previously, CalSol came 15th at FSGP 14; came 7th at FSGP 15; came 9th at ASC 16; won FSGP 17; came 6th at ASC 18; and came 2nd in the FSGP 19 Cruiser class.

70  DE    Sonnenwagen Aachen 

Monohull GaAs challenger (new car: Covestro Sonnenwagen) – they have a car-racing game app starring their car. They revealed their car on 22 July (video). As far as I know, the team is still at home.

Previously, Aachen participated at WSC 17 and came 3rd at iESC 18. Their team number (70) is the number they raced with in 2017.

75  AU    University of New South Wales (Sunswift) 

Four-seat 20-kWh cruiser (Violet) – they have been testing their car on the track. As far as I know, the team is still at home.

Previously, Sunswift came 3rd in the WSC 13 Cruiser class; came 4th in the WSC 15 Cruiser class; and participated in the WSC 17 Cruiser class.

77  CA    University of Toronto (Blue Sky) 

Monohull challenger (new car: Viridian) – they have a great-looking bullet car this year. They revealed their car on 24 June (video). As far as I know, the team is still at home.

Previously, Blue Sky came 8th at WSC 13; came 12th at WSC 15; came 11th at WSC 17; and came 3rd at ASC 16.

80  CN  Hmmm  Beijing Institute of Technology

Four-seat cruiser (new car: Sun Shuttle III). There has been no word on a car reveal. As far as I know, the team is still at home.

Previously, Beijing came 19th at WSC 13 and came 24th at WSC 15.

82  KR    Kookmin University Solar Team 

Asymmetric challenger (new car: Man-Se) – they revealed their car in a private ceremony on 14 August. As far as I know, the team is still at home.

Previously, KUST came 15th at WSC 13; came 20th at WSC 15; and participated at WSC 17. Their team number (82) is the Korean national telephone prefix.

84  TR    Dokuz Eylül University (Solaris) 

Asymmetric challenger (new car: S10) – they expect the new car to be 44% more efficient than the 2015 model. They revealed their car on 19 July (pic). As far as I know, the team is still at home.

Previously, Solaris participated in the WSC 13 Adventure class; came 25th at WSC 15; came 9th at iESC 16; and came 2nd at Albi Eco 18.

86  IN  Looks like they might not make WSC  Sphuran Industries Private Limited (Dyuti)

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. As far as I know, the team is still at home.

88  JP    Kogakuin University 

Monohull GaAs challenger (new car: Eagle) – once again they have a sleek and elegantly unique design. There is a good discussion with interior pics here. They revealed their car on 27 June (video). As far as I know, the team is still at home.

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’).

89  SA  Hmmm  Estidamah 

Asymmetric challenger (new car: Sana) – this was formerly the Seraaj team. There has been no word on a car reveal. As far as I know, the team is still at home.

92  CA    ETS Quebec (Eclipse) 

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). As far as I know, the team is still at home.

Previously, Eclipse came 18th at WSC 13; came 10th at ASC 14; came 8th at ASC 16; came 4th at FSGP 17; and came 3rd at ASC 18.

98  AU    ATN Solar Car Team 

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. As far as I know, the team is still at home.

This page last updated 09:17 on 26 August 2019 AEST. Thanks to Nigel for several news items.


2019 World Solar Challenge update #4


The happy champions from Delft on stage at the BWSC 2017 awards night (photo: Anthony Dekker)

Warning: this list is obsolete. Please check more recent posts.

Here is a further update on the 51 teams (27 Challengers, 23 Cruisers, and 1 Adventure car) aiming for the 2019 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge in Australia this coming October. Many teams are busy with construction, and below is my best understanding of the current team status (it does not yet reflect the to-be-published official list of teams).

Meanwhile, 26 teams – Bridger, Calgary, CalSol (1st in 2017), Esteban (3rd in 2017), Florida, Ga Tech, Illini, Illinois St, Kentucky, Mich St, Missouri S&T, NCSU, NJIT, Northwestern, Principia, PrISUm, Purdue, Rutgers, SIUE, UBC, UPRM, USC, UT, UVA, W Mich, and Waterloo, including 1 WSC team – are preparing to attend FSGP 2019 in America this July.

Recent BWSC news is that Twente has revealed their design and that Stanford has shown the world their shell.

AU  Looks on track  Adelaide University 

Challenger (Lumen II) – they have been doing a lot of testing.

AU  Hmmm  ATN Solar Car Team 

Cruiser (new team: see my team bio) – their team is a mixture of lecturers and students from five universities across Australia. They have tested a model in a wind tunnel.

AU  Hmmm  Australian National University 

Challenger (new car: MTAA Gnowee) – the car is named after a woman in Aboriginal myth who carries the sun.


public domain photo

AU  Looks on track  Flinders University 

Cruiser (Investigator Mark III) – they are planning to improve aerodynamics, reduce weight, and make some other changes.

AU  Looks on track  TAFE SA 

Cruiser (SAV) – this time they will tow the trailer that belongs with the car.

AU  Looks on track  Team Arrow 

Cruiser (ArrowSTF) – as well as racing, their commercial arm, Prohelion, is selling power packages.

AU  Looks on track  University of New South Wales / Sunswift 

Cruiser (Violet) – they have been testing their car on the track.

AU  Looks on track  Western Sydney Solar Team 

Challenger (new car) – they won the American Solar Challenge last year (with their Challenger car Unlimited 2.0).

Western Sydney BWSC 2017 pre-race vlog (they came 6th in the Challenger class)

BE  Looks on track  Agoria Solar Team (KU Leuven) 

Challenger (new car: BluePoint) – they have some (top secret) production moulds and are now sponsored by Agoria.

CA  Looks on track  ETS Quebec (Eclipse) 

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. Planned improvements are summarised in their winter newsletter.

CA  Looks on track  University of Toronto (Blue Sky) 

Challenger (new car: Viridian) – they plan to unveil the new car in July.

BWSC 2017 aftermovie (they came 11th in the Challenger class)

CL  Looks on track  Antakari Solar Team 

Challenger (new car: Intikallpa V) – no news on the new design as yet.

Antakari BWSC 2013 aftermovie (they participated in the Adventure class)

CL  Hmmm  Eolian AutoSolar 

Cruiser (new car: Auriga ) – they will be back at the WSC after coming 14th in 2007.


public domain photo

DE  Looks on track  Bochum University of Applied Sciences 

Cruiser (new car) – Bochum also has a solar buggy team.

DE  Looks on track  Sonnenwagen Aachen 

Challenger (new car) – they have a car-racing game app starring their car.

Sonnenwagen Aachen BWSC 2017 aftermovie (they raced in the Challenger class)

HK  Looks on track  Hong Kong Institute of Vocational Education 

Cruiser (Sophie 6 plus) – they have been working on the car body.

IN  Hmmm  R.V. College of Engineering 

Challenger (new car) – no details as yet.


public domain photo

IN  Hmmm  SolarMobil Manipal 

Cruiser (SM-S2) – existing car.

IT  Hmmm  Futuro Solare Onlus 

Cruiser (new car: Archimede 2.0) – they have an exciting design concept.

IT  Looks on track  Onda Solare 

Cruiser (Emilia 4) – they won the American Solar Challenge (Cruiser class) last year, and they have written up their design process here.

JP  Looks on track  Kogakuin University 

Challenger (new car) – they have officially announced their participation.

Kogakuin BWSC 2017 aftermovie (they came 7th in the Challenger class)

JP  Looks on track  Nagoya Institute of Technology 

Challenger (new car) – no news on the new design as yet.


public domain photo

JP  Looks on track  Tokai University 

Challenger (new car) – in January they hosted some visitors from Lodz.

KR  Looks on track  Kookmin University Solar Team 

Challenger (new car) – no news on the new design as yet.

KUST BWSC 2017 aftermovie (they raced in the Challenger class)

MY  Looks on track  EcoPhoton / UiTM 

Challenger (new car: Tigris) – see their first vlog (in Bahasa Malaysia).

MA  Hmmm  Mines Rabat Solar Team 

Challenger (new car: Eleadora 2) – their new catamaran will look like this.

NL  Looks on track  Solar Team Eindhoven 

Cruiser (new car: Stella ?) – they are turning a shipping container into an oven for production and plan to reveal their car on July 4.

Eindhoven BWSC 2017 pre-race news coverage (they came 1st in the Cruiser class)

NL  Looks on track  Solar Team Twente 

Challenger (new car: Red E) – they are already producing regular vlogs, and have a vlog for February (Dutch only). They have revealed their design, which is a GaAs catamaran (see the animation here). They will run a MOOC explaining the design of their 2015 car.

NL  Looks on track  Top Dutch Solar Racing 

Challenger (new team: see my team bio) – they have made good progress on fabrication as well as doing promotion.

NL  Looks on track  Vattenfall Solar Team (Delft) 

Challenger (new car: Nuna X) – these are the champions formerly known as Nuon. See their 2017 aftermovie.

PL  Looks on track  Lodz Solar Team 

Cruiser (Eagle Two) – they have produced a solar baby, which is a prize that lasts.

PL  Hmmm  PUT Solar Dynamics 

Cruiser (new team) – they are ready to begin 3D-printing some prototypes.

RU  Hmmm  Polytech Solar 

Cruiser (new car) – no news on the new design as yet.


public domain photo

SG  Looks on track  Singapore Polytechnic 

Cruiser (SunSPEC 5) – they have new motors and new doors.

SE  Looks on track  Chalmers Solar Team 

Challenger (new team: see my team bio) – their final render resembles the car of the South African NWU team. They have been working on their suspension.

SE  Looks on track  Halmstad University Solar Team 

Challenger (new team: see my team bio) – they are planning a bullet car, much like Michigan’s 2017 entry.

SE  Looks on track  JU Solar Team 

Challenger (new car) – they have a rolling test chassis. The body design seems long and thin.

SE  Looks on track  MDH Solar Team 

Challenger (MDH Solar Car) – they have been doing some testing.

CH  Looks on track  Solar Energy Racers 

Challenger (SER-3) – they raced this car in South Africa.

TW  Looks on track  Kaohsiung / Apollo 

Cruiser (new car: Apollo IX) – they have been making some carbon-fibre seats.

TH  Hmmm  Siam Technical College 

Cruiser (new car: STC-3) – no news on the new design as yet.

Siam Technical College BWSC 2017 aftermovie (they raced in the Cruiser class)

TR  Hmmm  Dokuz Eylül University (Solaris) 

Challenger (new car) – they expect the new car to be 44% more efficient than the 2015 model.


public domain photo

GB  Looks on track  Ardingly College 

Cruiser – this high-school team came 6th in the iESC Cruiser class.

GB  Looks on track  Cambridge University 

Cruiser (new car: Helia) – they are busy with fabrication.

GB  Looks on track  Durham University 

Challenger (new car: Ortus) – they have begun fabrication.

US  Looks on track  Appalachian State University (Sunergy) 

Cruiser (new team: see my team bio) – as with some European teams, they have been testing at an airport.

US  Looks on track  Berkeley (CalSol) 

Cruiser (new car: Tachyon) – they have a bottom shell and roll cage. They will also attend FSGP 2019.

US  Looks on track  Houston School District 

Adventure (Sundancer) – this high school team from from Houston, Mississippi is a regular visitor, because they keep winning the US high school race.

US  Looks on track  Stanford Solar Car Project 

Challenger (new car) – they have revealed their shell, which is a unique asymmetric bullet car.

US  Looks on track  University of Michigan 

Challenger (new car) – they are asking for name suggestions for the new car.

Michigan BWSC 2017 aftermovie (they came 2nd in the Challenger class)

US  Looks on track  University of Minnesota Solar Vehicle Project 

Cruiser (new car: Freya) – no news on the new design as yet.

UMNSVP BWSC 2015 aftermovie (they came 5th in the Cruiser class)

This page last updated 19:37 on 8 April 2019 AEST


Gender and Solar Car Teams


Solar Team Twente, led by Irene van den Hof, arrives at the World Solar Challenge 2015 finish line in 2nd place (photo: Anthony Dekker)

As a keen follower of international solar car racing, it’s interesting to explore the so-called “Gender-Equality Paradox” in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (see Stoet and Geary, 2018) as it relates to solar car teams – although I realise that this is a controversial subject.

In countries with high gender equality, such as Sweden, female participation in the STEM professions is paradoxically low. In part, this seems to be due to the fact that young women with STEM skills and interests often have other skills and interests as well, and these drive their educational and career choices (and within STEM fields, women appear to preferentially choose medicine over engineering). One can hardly force women to make other choices, though!

Solar car racing is in some ways engineering at its most intense – a difficult challenge requiring a substantial sacrifice of free time (much like an engineering start-up company). In the chart below, I plot the UN Gender Inequality Index for various countries against the average percentage of women in the engineering segment of solar car teams from those countries (I include team leaders in the count, but not dedicated media or public relations personnel). The colour of the dots for each nation indicate whether team leaders are mostly women (pink) or mostly men (blue).

The results are not statistically very significant (p = 0.05 and 0.09 for the two coefficients at the individual team level), but there is an interesting inverted parabolic fit here. For countries with high gender equality (Sweden, Belgium, Germany, and the Netherlands), only about 6.7% of the engineering segment of solar car teams is female. This is compared to 11.3% for other countries. On the other hand, Germany and the Netherlands do have mostly female team leaders.

In part, these results may reflect the fact that when a team attempts to make an optimum assignment of people to roles, the best people to carry out public relations and leadership roles are often the female team members (some people have suggested psychometric reasons for this). In fact, women are exactly twice as likely to be team leaders as you would expect based on the composition of the engineering segment of teams.

Obviously this small-scale study doesn’t settle anything, but it does raise some interesting questions for further investigation. And, of course, it would be fatal to believe that the man or woman building the car’s suspension was doing a more worthwhile job than the man or woman raising the sponsorship money that the team needs to survive. Success requires being good at everything, and that requires a diverse team.

Edit: This analysis may have missed a few women who were not included on team web pages.