2019 World Solar Challenge update #2


Western Sydney University, after finishing WSC 2017 (picture credit)

Here is a new update on the 53 teams (27 Challengers, 25 Cruisers, and 1 Adventure car) aiming for the 2019 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge in Australia this coming October. Few teams have any significant news to report at this stage, so this is my best understanding of the current team status.

By special request, all links in this post now open in a new tab or page, depending on your browser (I would welcome feedback on whether this is an improvement):

AU  Adelaide University 

Challenger (Lumen II) – existing car.

AU  ATN Solar Car Team 

Cruiser (new team: see my team bio) – they have manufactured several parts of the car interior.

AU  Australian National University 

Challenger (new car: MTAA Gnowee) – no details as yet.

AU  Flinders University 

Cruiser (Investigator Mark III) – existing car.

AU  Swinburne Solar Team 

Cruiser (new team) – they appear to be building their first solar car.

AU  TAFE SA 

Cruiser (SAV) – existing car.

AU  Team Arrow 

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

AU  University of New South Wales / Sunswift 

Cruiser (Violet) – they set a record for lowest energy consumption driving trans-Australia (Perth to Sydney).

AU  Western Sydney Solar Team 

Challenger (Unlimited 2.0) – they won the American Solar Challenge with this car last year, and will be making further improvements.


photo: Anthony Dekker

BE  Punch Powertrain Solar Team 

Challenger (new car) – they have some (top secret) production moulds.

CA  ETS Quebec (Eclipse) 

Challenger (Éclipse X) – they came an excellent 3rd in the ASC, 102 minutes behind Western Sydney.

CA  University of Toronto (Blue Sky) 

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

CL  Antakari Solar Team 

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

CL  Eolian AutoSolar 

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

DE  Bochum University of Applied Sciences 

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

DE  Sonnenwagen Aachen 

Challenger (new car) – no details as yet.

HK  Hong Kong Institute of Vocational Education 

Cruiser (Sophie VI) – existing car.

IN  R.V. College of Engineering 

Challenger (new car) – no details as yet.

IN  SolarMobil Manipal 

Cruiser (SM-S2) – existing car.

IT  Futuro Solare Onlus 

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

IT  Onda Solare 

Cruiser (Emilia 4) – they won the American Solar Challenge (Cruiser class) last year.

JP  Kogakuin University 

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

JP  Nagoya Institute of Technology 

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

JP  Tokai University 

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

KR  Kookmin University Solar Team 

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

MY  EcoPhoton / UiTM 

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

MA  Mines Rabat Solar Team 

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

NL  Solar Team Eindhoven 

Cruiser (new car: Stella ?) – they have a good team working on the car.

NL  Solar Team Twente 

Challenger (new car) – they won the European Solar Challenge last year.

NL  Top Dutch Solar Racing 

Challenger (new team: see my team bio) – they have been prototyping in the snow.

NL  Vattenfall Solar Team (Delft) 

Challenger (new car: Nuna X) – these are the champions formerly known as Nuon. See their name change announcement video.

PL  Lodz Solar Team 

Cruiser (Eagle Two) – they have been visiting the USA for a conference.

PL  PUT Solar Dynamics 

Cruiser (new team) – they are based in the home town of the famous Australian explorer Paweł Strzelecki.

RU  Polytech Solar 

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

SG  Singapore Polytechnic 

Cruiser (new car) – no details as yet.

SE  Chalmers Solar Team 

Challenger (new team: see my team bio) – their preliminary design resembles that of the South African NWU team.

SE  Halmstad University Solar Team 

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

SE  JU Solar Team 

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

SE  MDH Solar Team 

Challenger (new car) – some degree of autonomous driving is planned.

CH  Solar Energy Racers 

Challenger (new car: SER-3) – their new car seems almost complete.

TW  Kaohsiung / Apollo 

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

TH  Siam Technical College 

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

TR  Dokuz Eylül University (Solaris) 

Challenger (plans uncertain) – no details as yet.

GB  Ardingly College 

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

GB  Cambridge University 

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

GB  Durham University 

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

US  Appalachian State University (Sunergy) 

Cruiser (new team: see my team bio) – they competed in the American Solar Challenge last year, with their car ROSE.

US  Berkeley (CalSol) 

Cruiser (new car: Tachyon) – they have a bottom shell and roll cage.

US  Houston School District 

Adventure (Sundancer) – this high school team is a regular competitor.

US  Iowa State University (PrISUm) 

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

US  Stanford Solar Car Project 

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

US  University of Michigan 

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

US  University of Minnesota Solar Vehicle Project 

Cruiser (new car: Freya) – they are selling the trailer they have stored in Australia, as it is too small for their new car.

This page last updated 15:51 on 21 February 2019 AEDT


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2019 World Solar Challenge update


Nuon, now Vattenfall, at the 2017 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge (photo: Anthony Dekker)

An update on the 53 teams (27 Challengers, 25 Cruisers, and 1 Adventure car) interested in the 2019 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge this October. The big news is that defending champions Nuon have changed their name to Vattenfall.

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

This page last updated 23:29 on 17 February 2019 AEDT


New solar car teams #5: Appalachian State

It’s a bit of a stretch calling Appalachian State University / Sunergy  (click: ) a new solar car team. Having rebuilt the shell of an old car donated by PrISUm, they first hit the American solar car scene at FSGP 2015 (where they failed scrutineering), ASC 2016 (where they came 6th), and FSGP 2017 (where they came a satisfying 2nd). But this year they did become a new team (in the Cruiser class), with their first car built from scratch, ROSE.


AppState’s ROSE (picture credit)

The Cruiser class is, in some ways, a tougher race than the Challenger class, but it’s an easier sell (to sponsors and to the general public). For example, I’m a big fan of Nuon’s beautiful and efficient Nuna 9S (the Stradivarius of solar cars), but you can’t really point to it and say “this is the future of transportation.” It’s far too cramped for that – more like an elegant mathematical proof or a work of art than like a practical vehicle. However, “the future of transportation” would be a feasible label for Cruisers like Eindhoven’s Stella Lux or Bochum’s SunRiser – so it’s not surprising that many solar car teams want to emulate those two pioneers.


The Stradivarius of solar cars, from Dutch champions Nuon, is nevertheless a little cramped (picture credit)

AppState did the right thing by attending ASC 2018, although their car had apparently not even been turned on before the race. Because of electrical problems, they did not manage to drive the entire distance – but they obtained good experience, and they know what to fix now. We can expect to see a greatly improved version of their car at the 2019 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge. Good luck, y’all!

AppState’s multi-stage path to the BWSC is a good model for other intending Cruiser class teams to follow. And with a drag coefficient of 0.17, they have not made the mistake of neglecting aerodynamics – because, in the Cruiser class, efficiency still rules.


New solar car teams #4: ATN

ATN Solar Car Team  (click: ) is a new Australian Cruiser-class solar car team. They are attempting something I have never seen done before – design and construction of a solar car by a team distributed across a continent. According to the initial press release:

I will be very interested to see if they can make this work and which virtual team tools and techniques they will use to do so. So far, ATN Solar Car Team has produced a number of quite different design concepts. The video below shows one of the more interesting ones, and has produced many admiring comments:

Note: Independently of this effort, the experienced Team Arrow will continue as a Cruiser-class team based in Brisbane (also associated with QUT).


New solar car teams #3: Chalmers University

Chalmers Solar Team  (click: ), from Gothenburg, is one of two new Swedish solar car teams (both in the Challenger class, as are the existing teams from Jönköping University and Mälardalens University). Their preliminary render (above) is reminiscent of the South African Naledi (from NWU), but this render seems to date from before the start of serious design work, so we might see something quite different for the race. Lycka till!


The team is housed next to the campus library (photo: Bjoertvedt)


New solar car teams #2: Halmstad University

Halmstad University Solar Team  (click: ), from Halmstad, is one of two new Swedish solar car teams (both in the Challenger class, as are the existing teams from Jönköping University and Mälardalens University). Their university is relatively new, having been established in 1983. It sees itself as “innovation driven,” which makes building solar cars a good fit for them. HUST is still refining their design, but they seem to be influenced by Michigan’s 2017 “bullet car.” They are also fundraising on gofundme to raise support for their solar car construction and travel to Australia. Lycka till!


New solar car teams #1: Top Dutch

Top Dutch Solar Racing  (click: ) is a new solar car team sponsored by the northern (“top”) region of the Netherlands: the provinces Groningen, Friesland, and Drenthe (see topdutch.com). This is a region with a long history and a strong environmental focus (see montage above).

The team is associated with the Hanze University of Applied Sciences, the University of Groningen, the NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences, and local high schools. They are building a Challenger-class car for the 2019 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge. Although I wasn’t aware of it at the time, they had observers at the 2017 event, so they know what they are up against. They will be joining three other teams from the Netherlands (Nuon, Twente, and the Cruiser-class team from Eindhoven), which means that, for the first time, an all-Dutch podium becomes a possibility.

Team manager Jeroen Brattinga explains the project in this (Dutch) video. They have also been driving a test chassis around for some time.