The latest news about solar racing worldwide

by Jeroen Haringman
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Guest blog: SOELA solar car race


One of the solar cars in the first (2013) instalment of the event

Since 2013, the SOELA organisation has been organising a solar car event for local technical schools in the city of Sisak, Croatia. The event has been growing every year, and this year there will be a number of side events where the people of Sisak can see and drive electric cars.

The event will be held June 4th-6th, 2015, and approximately 10 teams are expected to compete.

Please read the guest blog about this interesting solar car event by director of Town of Sisak Tourist Board, Milijana Borojević.
Continue Reading →

by Jeroen Haringman

Blue Sky Solar Racing video documentary

The Blue Sky Solar Racing team from Toronto, Canada, published a 36-minute video documentary about their adventures during the 2013 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge. I can recommend watching it (in HD and on full screen :) ), it shows the team facing unexpected challenges and even emergencies while keeping together and performing very well, and it shows solar car teams helping each other out. I like it!

by Jeroen Haringman

University withdraws support for OSUSVT

The proud OSUSVT with their as I met them in Abu Dhabi

The proud OSUSVT with their car as I met them in Abu Dhabi. Photo credit: OSUSVT

A few days ago, the Oregon State University Solar Vehicle team announced on their Facebook page the unfortunate news that their parent university is withdrawing their support for the team.

I don’t think I have to explain to the solar racing community the many reasons why this is a bad idea – certainly bad for the students, and ultimately bad for the university, too.

In true solar car team spirit, the team has taken up this unexpected challenge, and they are both making plans to continue without university support, and and at the same time trying to convince the university to reverse their decision. As part of the latter course, they have set up this online petition, which everyone can sign. I would like to urge everyone to sign this petition – and I have of course signed it myself. They only need about 500 more signatures at the moment I write this, together we should be able to help them reach that goal.

It would be a real shame if this great team (I met them in person in Abu Dhabi) would have to continue without the support of their university – or even would have to cease to exist altogether.

Please sign the petition! Thank you.

by Jeroen Haringman

May 2015 WSC team status update

Bridgestone_World_Solar_Challenge_logo_125pxWith just 166 days to go until the start of the 2015 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge it’s time for another team status update! Lots of stuff happened last month and lots of solar cars have landed on their wheels. Quite a few of those wheels have actually tasted the road – if only sometimes on a test vehicle. Inevitably, a few teams have announced that participation in the WSC was not on the cards after all, but that was to be expected.

Also approaching is June 5th, when the WSC organisers will publish the officials list of participants. Of course I’m really curious how well my unofficial list will match up with that list :) I’m sure we’ll lose a few teams from my list, but I’m equally sure that there are a couple of teams who have registered and still have managed to escape my internet searches.

For the last time, I’ll assign teams a status colour, indicating how I see the team’s chances of actually appearing at the starting line.

  1. Clearly busy with preparations, up to date online channels, very good chance of appearing at the starting line (status GREEN)
  2. Some indications that they are preparing, but nothing recent and/or solid, might still make it to the WSC (status ORANGE)
  3. No indications at all of any preparation, unlikely to make it to the WSC (status RED)

Next month we’ll have the official participants list, and I’ll not assign those colours any more. A small number of teams might have to withdraw in the remaining time, but I’m going see how that process develops as it goes on, without trying to predict it.

The next update will be published after the WSC has published their official list, possibly on June 6th or 7th, depending on how much time I need and how much time I have.

So, let’s start off with the Challenger class first – sorted by status colour, and then in alphabetical order: Continue Reading →

by Jeroen Haringman

Solar Team Eindhoven car design presentation

The proud Eindhoven team after the design presentation

The proud Eindhoven team after the design presentation

Yesterday, Solar Team Eindhoven organised a presentation of the design of their new solar car with which they plan to enter the 2015 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge Cruiser class. The presentation was intended for sponsors, family and friends but the team kindly invited me, too. As the actual car will be presented on July 2nd, the attendees weren’t allowed to take photos, and that also means that I cannot say very much about the design itself. I can say that both the car’s exterior and interior obviously received a lot of attention to detail. It looked great.

The presentation itself was fun, interesting and well thought-out. It showed among other things the way the team decided upon the basic foundations of the design. Besides the sneak peak at the car’s design, the visit was worth the time because it allowed me a chance to talk to the current team members. There were also a couple of Nuon Solar Team members present whom I also had not met yet, so that was also a good opportunity to make acquaintances.

All in all, a fun and interesting evening, and I can hardly wait to see the actual car in July.