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Bridgestone returns as Title Sponsor of Bridgestone World Solar Challenge

21 Oct 2019

Bridgestone Corporation has announced its continued support and renewal as the title sponsor of the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge (BWSC).

The agreement, with the South Australian Tourism Commission, who hosts the BWSC, and has been extended for 10 years until 2030.

The Bridgestone World Solar Challenge is the world’s foremost solar car event. Participants are challenged to design and build some of the world’s most energy efficient vehicles in order to travel from Darwin to Adelaide – a total of 3,000km (1,860 miles). In 2019, a record 44 teams, from 21 countries took part...

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It's Cruise Control all the way from Solar Team Eindhoven

21 Oct 2019

Solar Team Eindhoven from the Netherlands have proven it's in a class of its own, claiming a fourth consecutive Cruiser Cup in the 2019 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge.

The team's fourth-generation solar electric car Stella Era, purpose built for the BWSC, impressed on the road and on the judging floor. Pitched as an ‘opportunity seeker’, Stella Era is a charging station on wheels with eight inbuilt radars which can detect the intensity of the sun and move to charge accordingly. Overall second place went to Australia’s Sunswift in...

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Four in a Row for Solar Team Eindhoven

21 Oct 2019

Streets ahead in the Cruiser Class field, Solar Team Eindhoven from the Netherlands is in a class of its own, claiming its fourth consecutive Cruiser Cup in the 2019 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge.

Its fourth-generation solar electric car, Stella Era, purpose built for the BWSC, impressed on the road and on the judging floor. Pitched as an ‘opportunity seeker’, Stella Era is a charging station on wheels with eight inbuilt radars which can detect the intensity of the sun and move to charge accordingly. Overall second place went to Australia’s Sunswift in Violet and third place...

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2019 BWSC Award Winners

21 Oct 2019

The 2019 BWSC Awards Ceremony was a fitting farewell to an incredible adventure had by all involved, from the teams, to volunteers, officials and supporters.

A highlight of the evening was the announcement by Bridgestone Corporation of their continued support and renewal as the title sponsor of the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge until 2030.

The landmark partnership was announced by Masaaki Tsuya, Chairman of the Board, Chief Executive Officer and Representative Executive Officer, Bridgestone Corporation.

The celebrations continued as we celebrated the Award Winners for 2019, with Solar Team Eindhoven and Team Sonnenwagen Aachen e.V. both taking home...

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A Playground of Innovation

19 Oct 2019

The cars of tomorrow, packed with features you can expect to see on our driving horizon, were on show today at the City of Adelaide Finish Line.

The 2019 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge Cruiser Class category was judged today by an expert panel of adjudicators including industry leaders from Tesla and Prohelion, past BWSC faculty and alumni, international solar challenge organisers from Chile, South Africa and the US and media representatives.

The Cruiser Class was introduced in 2013 to bridge the gap between high end technology and everyday driving practicality, and is about much more than speed. Cruiser Class cars...

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Cruising to the Finish Line

18 Oct 2019

The City of Adelaide was filled with joy today, as the field of Challenger and now Cruiser Class teams spent the day crossing the City of Adelaide Finish Line.

For the Cruisers, it's not a race of speed, but a competition of strategy, effiency and style. Australia’s Sunswift in ‘Violet’, Hong Kong’s IVE Engineering Solar Car Team in ‘Sophie 6’, and 2017 Cruiser Champions, Dutch Solar Team Eindhoven in Stella Era are in the overall points lead.

All three, from the original field of 17, are the only ones to...

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Update: Vattenfall Goes Up in Flames On Final Stretch

17 Oct 2019

The lead changed dramatically in the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge this morning.

Vattenfall Solar Team’s Nuna X was taken out of the race, catching fire 2761 kilometres from Darwin, just before Mambray Creek, 263 kilometres from the City of Adelaide Finish Line.

Belgian team Agoria, who were just two and a half minutes behind, surged ahead to the front.

An update from Vattenfall Solar Team:

More information to come, as Vattenfall are able to ascertain what caused the incident.

Header image via Jorrit Lousberg/Vattenfall Solar Team

 

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Agoria Claims Their First BWSC Title

17 Oct 2019

Few can remember a more dramatic day in BWSC History, with Agoria Solar Team from Belgium claiming their first title. 

Agoria Solar Team charged into the lead this morning, after working incredibly hard to make up time over the final days of their Challenge. Rising in the field, they shortened their gap yesterday from just over 40 minutes, to just 2 minutes this morning.

As they crossed the Finish Line all could feel the pure sense of elation from the Belgians, who have claimed the first title in their team’s history.

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Starting off the day in Port...

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Hello Adelaide!

16 Oct 2019

There’s more than one reason to celebrate completing the incredible 3,000 km journey!

Not only have you finished this adventure, but you’ve arrived in – in our humble opinions – the best city in Australia, Adelaide!

The capital of South Australia, Adelaide is bursting with culture, flavours, events and entertainment.

You can taste your way through world-famous wine regions only minutes away from the city or indulge in some of Australia’s most award-winning restaurants in the heart of Adelaide.

Throughout the year there are so many immersive festivals and events, or all year...

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Winds Dash Hopes for the BWSC Contenders

16 Oct 2019

Despite all of the hard work and preparation, unfortunately Mother Naure can be the most brutal, unpredictable adversary when it comes to the BWSC.

This morning around 20 minutes after starting on the road, Solar Team Twente's driver was battling strong cross winds, when a big gust caused the car to hit the side of the road, falling off the slope and roll.

While the driver was unharmed, he was still taken to the local hospital to get checked and we can confirm he is safe and well. However, understandably the team was devastated. Their car RED E was...

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Explore Adelaide with Beam

15 Oct 2019

Adelaide is one of Australia's most exciting cities, with a burgeoning food and wine scene, and plenty of places to explore - there's a lot of ground to cover!

The last thing you want is to worry about parking your car or being stuck in traffic, and it's also important that we all start considering our environmental impact through transport.

Enter our friends at Beam

Beam is Asia-Pacific's leading micro mobility company, whose electric scooters have been on the ground in Adelaide since earlier in the year. Already they've been incredibly popular with people...

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BWSC on Instagram

15 Oct 2019

With over 40 teams travelling 3,000km down the middle of Australia from Darwin to Adelaide, it can be hard to stay connected.

Thankfully, we have been keeping up with plenty of the action from the teams through Instagram!

Be sure to keep tagging us and using #BWSC19 on your photos.

Here are some of our favourite from the first few days of the 2019 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge!

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Charging For the Future

15 Oct 2019

The Cruiser Class of the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge is so much more than a type of solar car.

With fuel-powered vehicles an increasing burden on the environment, around the world scientists, engineers and environmentalists are looking to alternative means of transport that have a reduced impact on the environment.

Electric vehicles and hybrids are increasingly common, but we are well on our way to solar-powered vehicles as well.

The Cruiser Class was founded on the basis that teams could design and build cars that had potential as every day vehicles, rather than the one-man, smaller vehicles of the Challenger...

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The Leading Gap Closes on Challenge Day 3

15 Oct 2019

As they near the home stretch, the leading teams are making for an exciting final two days of their journey to Adelaide.

The top Challenger teams crossed the border today, covering around 600km as they passed through Alice Springs and Kulgera before heading into South Australia.

Speaking to teams this morning, the leaders were all focussed on strategy for the day ahead, with weather playing a factor. Headwinds and cloud cover meant slightly slower speeds across the board.

"This morning went pretty good - we didn't see any other cars." said Markus Eckstein from Team Sonnewagen Aachen e.V...

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Powers Shift on Challenge Day 2

14 Oct 2019

It’s been two days of excitement – and in some cases tension – on the first two days since the cars have departed State Squre in Darwin.

While Top Dutch Solar Racing may have started off in first place, the dynamics have quickly shifted in the Challenger Class, with Solar Team Twente maintaining their provisional lead since late morning yesterday and Top Dutch falling around an hour behind.

Defending winners Vattenfall Solar Team were forced to pull to the side of the road yesterday with a solar array issue on a hill exiting Darwin – compounding the troubles...

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Twente Take Top Spot After Challenge Day 1

13 Oct 2019

Solar Team Twente from The Netherlands set the pace in ‘RED E’, the smallest car in the competition, with an early lead in the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge, reaching the first control stop of Katherine in just over four hours at 12.08 Darwin time, leading the field by 8 minutes.

Speaking to one of the team's drivers, Mariska, during their control stop at Daly Waters, she said that the team was incredibly excited to command such a lead today.

"I'm very very excited. Still no other cars [have passed us] which is great; at the...

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Debutants claim P1 in Dynamic Scrutineering

12 Oct 2019

They call themselves Top Dutch Solar Racing and there's little doubt the first-year team from Groningen in the Netherlands is anything else after their Green Lightning Challenger car blitzed the Hidden Valley lap record for a four-wheeled solar car on Saturday.

It means Top Dutch will have the honour of leading the field away from State Square, Darwin, on Sunday morning. 

And if their speed is anything to go by, they are looking well-positioned for line honours in Adelaide, with no other team able to breach the average speed of 90km/h at Hidden Valley. 

The...

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A Dynamic Day Ahead

11 Oct 2019

It’s called a challenge for a reason!

As the Sunday start line draws closer for competitors in the world’s largest solar challenge, many teams were frantically working to get their cars through the final scrutineering stage. They must pass all 14 static scrutineering stations to prove they are ready to take to the track at Hidden Valley for the dynamic ‘hot laps’.

Teams of event scrutineers, BWSC alumni from past events and technical advisors have worked almost around the clock at the Darwin Convention Centre to ensure the most extensive field of solar cars...

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Sharing the Stuart Highway

10 Oct 2019

A sparkling, much loved Kenworth 509 road train with its experienced driver and National Road Transport Hall of Famer, Jeff Fulwood, behind the wheel, hit the Hidden Valley racetrack this week with ATN Solar Team’s Priscilla and Hong Kong team IVE’s Sophie 6 , in a road safety demonstration with a difference.

It takes driving skill and common sense to pass a road train at any time on the open road in a conventional motor vehicle. These rigs are big!

Passing in a solar car, especially a streamlined, aerodynamic, lightweight Challenger solar car, is just one of...

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It Takes a Village

10 Oct 2019

With over 45 Teams, each with their very own custom built solar vehicle – built to specific regulations – traveling 3,000kms through the centre of Australia, there's quite a few people involved in making the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge a reality.

Apart from the teams, and the staff and officials of the event, there’s an incredible group of volunteers who give up their time to come from all around the World to help make the BWSC happen.

With around 200 volunteers coming from every corner of the globe, it truly takes a village, and the volunteers...

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Day 4 Wrap: True Grit

10 Oct 2019

The BWSC is no easy feat.

Teams work for up to 2 years - sometimes more - preparing for this unique adventure. Once the regulations are released, University and sometimes high school students design and manufacturer a solar car, suitable for driving 3,000km through one of the planet’s harshest landscapes.

They must design to specific regulations, and then undergo Static Scrutineering, which holds their cars and their teams to the highet standards.

Then there's the logistics - many teams must pack and send shipping containers full of equipment, camping gear and tools, before they even...

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Day 3 Wrap: Ups and downs abound

09 Oct 2019

Weigh-ins, spin-outs and blow-ups – Wednesday had it all at the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge.

Whether it was Western Sydney’s 116.8kg machine beating the previous record set by defending champions Vattenfall just the day before (131.6kg), or the stunning wall-kiss by Vattenfall’s Challenger in testing setting the Dutch powerhouse up for an all-night repair job, the third day of scrutineering offered up plenty of action.

So what have we learnt so far?

Teams are through to the next stage

10 teams have officially qualified for dynamic scrutineering and Saturday qualifying. Joining IVE Engineering (Hong...

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Day 2 Preview: Dutch Powerhouses prepare for test

08 Oct 2019

Dutch powerhouse teams Vattenfall and Eindhoven will take to the scrutineering floor on Tuesday with the machines they hope will successfully defend their respective Challenger and Cruiser class titles in this year's edition of the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge.

They will be joined in static scrutineering by the University of Michigan (USA), Agoria (Belgium), Tokai University (Japan), Stanford University (USA), and Hochschule Bochum (Germany). 

There, they will undergo no fewer than 15 stationed checks to be declared 'dynamic ready'.

It isn't an easy process for World Solar Teams, with only one of Monday's group - Hong...

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Daily Wrap: Tuesday 8 October

08 Oct 2019

 

The big guns rolled out to the scrutineering floor of the Darwin Convention Centre on Tuesday, with the defending class champions – Dutch teams Vattenfall and Eindhoven - headlining along with a raft of other fancies, including Agoria (Belgium) and Stanford (USA), as well as Hocschule Bochum (Germany).

After just one team passed with ‘full green’ (that is, all fourteen criteria marked as compliant) on Monday, few teams were able to completely pass through as ready for Dynamic testing.

At the close of scrutineering, results showed that Eindhoven and Goko High School (Japan) had cleared all 14...

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The Best of #BWSC19: Mon 7 Oct

07 Oct 2019

The best way to check out what's happening at the 2019 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge?

Just check out #BWSC19!

All of the Teams are now moved into Hidden Valley, with the first day of Static Scrutineering kicking off today at the Darwin Convention Centre.

Let's see what the teams have been up to lately...

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Daily Wrap: Monday 7 Oct

07 Oct 2019

The first day of Static Scrutineering for 2019 was a busy one, with 12 teams presenting to the scientific faculty.

 

Static Scrutineering is an official part of the process to qualify for the BWSC. Each team must undergo inspection of their vehicle by the BWSC Scientific Faculty, with a number of stations they must pass through to ensure their car is built to the regulations, and is safe and road worthy.

The mechanical station looks at three aspects of the vehicle; the brakes, steering and roll cage. The mechanisms must all be built correctly and safely, to ensure the...

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Five States in a Small World: ATN Solar Car Team Update

06 Oct 2019

For many teams, it’s a huge logistical exercise coordinating an often large and diverse group of people with differing skill sets and backgrounds, in order to participate in the BWSC.

For the ATN Solar Car Team, add to that the fact that your team members live full time in 5 different States across Australia. The Australian Technology Network’s BWSC Team consists of students from five Australian Universities; QUT, University of Technology Sydney, RMIT University, University of South Australia and Curtin University.

While they’ve been working from their home states for the preparation period, they...

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