World Solar Challenge update for May

The infographic above (fifth in the series, and just a few days early) 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, together with more detailed news.

As well as building a new car, Principia are gearing up to race an old one at the FSGP in July, so they must be rather busy. Bochum continues to blog in German, and report that they are using plexiglas for the windows of their new car. Nuon have announced that their new car will have an autopilot (OK, that last one was an April Fool’s joke).

In general, teams should be well into construction by now. For some teams, I have seen no evidence that this is the case (which may simply mean that they are too busy to post). However, best of luck to all the teams!


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.


World Solar Challenge 2017 Revised Team Status

The revised infographic above 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 been updated also).

Many teams are obviously working hard behind the scenes, so that the assessment here is overly pessimistic in most cases. Also, one of the factors used by the rating script is recent Twitter activity, so that there is a slight bias against teams without Twitter accounts. Still, the infographic gives some idea of team progress.

In other news, the new BWSC FAQ addresses, inter alia, the confusing (and, in my view, misguided) regulation 2.2.4.


Congratulations, Toronto!


Toronto’s solar car Horizon comes 12th in the 2015 World Solar Challenge (my photo)

The Blue Sky Solar Racing team from the University of Toronto ( ) had their 20th anniversary on November 18th last year. The video below celebrates their two decades of solar car racing. Congratulations, guys!