Solar Car Fundraising

These solar cars from Solar Team Twente (The Netherlands), Antakari Solar Team (Chile), the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (USA), and Solar Team GB (UK) do not yet exist, but you can help fund their construction – and the construction of dozens of other cars. See the gold coin icons in this list for donation websites. All the teams plan to race in the World Solar Challenge in Australia this October.


World Solar Challenge update for April

The infographic above (fourth in the series) shows solar car teams that are likely to be entering in the World Solar Challenge this October, with my estimate of reported current progress (on a red–amber–green scale), taking into account recent social media updates. The team list has also been updated, and has a simpler traffic-light version ( RED AMBER GREEN ) of these estimates. For teams with ongoing campaigns on GoFundMe, KickStarter, and the like (see Coin links in the list), between 2% and 33% of desired funds have been raised.

Several teams have new visible signs of construction, ANU has signed up a major sponsor, and Twente has released a cool video of their new car, Red Shift. Beijing has been very quiet, but they always are. Slovakia has become quiet, and I’m beginning to wonder if they’re actually building a car. Best of luck to all the teams, however!


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.


World Solar Challenge latest update

Six months to go to the World Solar Challenge, and the infographic above (third in the series) shows solar car teams that are likely to be entering in the World Solar Challenge this October, with my estimate of reported current progress (on a red–amber–green scale), taking into account recent social media updates. The team list has also been updated, and has a simpler traffic-light version ( RED AMBER GREEN ) of these estimates.

Since the last update, a few teams have started construction. Twente has revealed their new design (with more details in Dutch). Two Egyptian teams have been added to the list, but they have a lot to do before the big event, and I’m not sure if they will make it.


Solar Car Racing in Egypt: Update

Time for an update on the Somabay Egyptian Solar Challenge. Scrutineering was due to have begun, but apparently all the cars are still held up in customs. Hopefully the race itself will still start on the 17th. Apparently the route will run north and south along the Red Sea shore for four days, and finish at the Pyramids of Giza on the fifth day.

With luck, we will get some news from mostdece during the race, because the official Twitter and Facebook feeds are not saying much. The following three teams have active news feeds:

DE  Bochum University of Applied Sciences 

Bochum are putting up very detailed daily blog posts (in German) at bosolarcar.de/themen/news. Their local partners from Cairo University are active on Facebook (and, amazingly, auto-translate works well).

FR  Eco Solar Breizh 

This Breton team is active on Facebook and Twitter (click on the icons above).

NL  Nuon Solar Team 

Nuon is extremely active on Twitter, posting news, pictures, and short videos.

Update 1: apparently the race organisers have no permit to conduct the race as planned. The race will therefore be reduced to a 2-day event, running laps around the Somabay resort complex.

Update 2: Nuon has a report on the event here.


Solar Car Racing in the USA

The 19 solar car teams below are on the board for the Formula Sun Grand Prix in Texas this July. Because the World Solar Challenge (WSC) is on this year, several teams (including Michigan, the champions) will not be attending the FSGP.

US GREEN  3 – Kentucky 

This team completed 40 laps in the FSGP last year, and came 12th in the 2016 American Solar Challenge.

IN RED  4 – SRM (ETROS) 

This team did not attend the FSGP last year.

US RED  5 – University of Florida 

This team did not attend the FSGP last year. Their involvement in the FSGP this year is uncertain.

US GREEN  6 – Berkeley (CalSol) 

This team completed 203 laps in the FSGP last year, and came 9th in the 2016 American Solar Challenge.

US RED  7 – SF State 

This team did not attend the FSGP last year.

US RED  8 – UT Austin 

This team did not attend the FSGP last year.

US RED  11 – Northwestern 

This team completed 21 laps in the FSGP last year.

US RED  13 – Michigan State 

This team did not attend the FSGP last year.

US GREEN  17 – Illinois State 

This team completed 327 laps in the FSGP last year, and came 11th in the 2016 American Solar Challenge.

CA RED  26 – British Columbia 

This team did not attend the FSGP last year.

US GREEN  32 – Principia Solar Car Team 

This team completed 454 laps in the FSGP last year, and came 5th in the 2016 American Solar Challenge. They came 17th in the Challenger class at WSC 2015. They also plan to race at the WSC this year.

US AMBER  49 – Georgia Tech 

This team completed 0 laps in the FSGP last year. Their team number (49) is taken from STS-49, the maiden flight of the space shuttle Endeavour.

CA GREEN  55 – Poly Montreal (Esteban) 

This team completed 321 laps in the FSGP last year, and came 10th in the 2016 American Solar Challenge. Their team number (55) is the year that Western Electric began to sell licenses for silicon PV technology.

US RED  57 – SIUE 

This team did not pass scrutineering for the FSGP last year.

CA AMBER  92 – ETS Quebec (Eclipse) 

This team completed 308 laps in the FSGP last year, and came 8th in the 2016 American Solar Challenge.

US AMBER  314 – Purdue 

This team did not attend the FSGP last year.

US AMBER  786 – Western Michigan 

This team did not pass scrutineering for the FSGP last year. Their team number (786) is the sequence of digits for S-U-N on old phones.

PR RED  787 – Solar Car UPRM  

This team did not attend the FSGP last year, but did 57 laps in 2015. Their team number (787) is the main telephone area code for Puerto Rico.

US AMBER  828 – Appalachian State University 

This team completed 414 laps in the FSGP last year, and came 6th in the 2016 American Solar Challenge. Their team number (828) is the telephone area code for western North Carolina.

This post last updated 16:33 on 22 April 2017 AEST


Solar Car Racing in Egypt

The solar car teams below have said that they intend to race at the Somabay Egyptian Solar Challenge this March. Details of the race are still rather thin on the ground – no route has yet been announced, and there is no official list of teams. There are, however, Twitter and Facebook feeds for the race. Those thinking about participating should probably note the travel advice from Australian, US, Dutch, and French authorities.

DE  Bochum University of Applied Sciences 

This team came 3rd in the Cruiser class at WSC 2015. They also entered three cars in the 2016 ESC, coming 3rd, 4th, and 5th.

TR  Dokuz Eylül University / Solaris 

This team came 25th in the Challenger class at WSC 2015. They raced in the 2016 ESC, coming 9th.

FR  Eco Solar Breizh 

This is a French (or rather, Breton) team, started in 2008. They raced at ESC in 2014.

NL  Nuon Solar Team 

This team came 1st in the Challenger class at WSC 2015. They also raced in the 2016 Sasol Solar Challenge in South Africa, coming 1st.

JP  Osaka Sangyo University (OSU)

EG  Solar Electric Vehicle – Cairo University Team 

This is a local Egyptian team. They are partnering with Bochum, it seems. They are also planning to race at WSC 2017.

EG  Zewail City Solar Car Team 

This is a local Egyptian team. They are partnering with OSU, it seems. They are also planning to race at WSC 2017.

This post last updated 17:04 on 01 March 2017 AEDT