For more than 30 years, the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge has welcomed the greatest minds from around the world to Australia to push the limits of technological innovation and travel the outback in a vehicle powered only by the energy of the sun.
Traversing 3,000km from Darwin to Adelaide, teams comprise of tertiary and secondary students from more than 30 countries, who together with their support team, achieve greatness by engineering and building a vehicle with their own hands and powering it across some of the world's most challenging landscape.
The World Solar Challenge (WSC) – taking place from October 20-27, 2023 – is the world’s most prestigious and challenging race of electric vehicles which are powered only by the energy of the sun.
The objective is to design and build a solar car within design regulations and to drive the car over a 3,000km outback route across the continent of Australia.
The race passes through some of the continent’s most gruelling landscape, commencing from Darwin in the Northern Territory, and finishing in Adelaide in South Australia.
The competition takes five to six days and teams race between official control stops where they record their times and swap their drivers.
At 5pm each day, regardless of location, the drivers and support vehicle crews set up camp and carry out overnight maintenance.
Watch the story of the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge, filmed in 2019, below.
Three competition classes
- Challenger (performance)
- Cruiser (family car)
- Adventure (no regulations, no race)
Challenger and Cruiser.
The event began in 1987, occurs every two years and attracts companies and educational institutions from across the world.
The aim of the WSC is to inspire research into – and to develop solutions for – the global challenge of delivering sustainable personal transport.
DCU Solar Racing Team
Founded in October 2022 by DCU students, the Solar Racing Team will develop the first Irish solar car and will also be the first Irish entry into the WSC in October 2023.
Team manager Evan Dargan Hayes says: “We will be competing in the Challenger class where cars tend to be low, sleek and visually stunning.
“The team is entirely student run, comprising the next generation of innovative designers, engineers and global leaders who are very interested in advancing environmentally sustainable technologies, and in finding viable solutions to our mobility challenges.
“With circa 40% of emissions in Ireland coming from transport, the learnings from this WSC are very relevant to our countryd and the team will raise community awareness of clean vehicles with an Outreach programme."
- Max length 5m;
- Max width 2.2m;
- Max solar array 4sqm;
- At least three wheels;
- One driver.
Dargan Hayes adds: “We believe that competition encourages innovation and the lateral thinking required to meet the conflicting needs of maximising the solar collection area while minimising aerodynamic drag, as well as complying with many other design regulations, and will provide a unique learn-by-doing opportunity for the team members as we design, manufacture and test our solar car.
“Vital business skills such as communication, management, planning, logistical, financial and collaboration will all be well developed by participation in such a complex undertaking on such a global stage,” he says.
DCU is seeking history-making partners, adds Dargan Hayes: “We are looking for enlightened partners to join us in making our dream of designing and building the first Irish solar car a reality.
“We want to build a long-term relationship with our partners over a number of campaigns, which may include participation in World, European and South African solar car races, commencing with the WSC in Australia within 12 months.
“Given the scale of this undertaking, our first competition entry will be treated as a development project, with research and race completion being the main goals for this event. Progression in technology and results will be the focus in each event thereafter.
'Next generation of environmentally minded engineers'
“This is a truly unique promotional opportunity for prospective partners to come on the journey with us, a journey combining media exposure with access to high-calibre future employees."
This exciting solar car project is expected to garner substantial local, national and international media interest in 2023, both for its novelty as well as for the sustainability message, interest which can be leveraged by the DCU team's partners, he says.
“In addition, the DCU Solar Racing Team is educating the next generation of environmentally minded engineers and business leaders, and team members will become valuable assets for employers.
“So by partnering with the team from the outset, companies can build their name as environmental champions while also developing relationships at an early stage with these creative future leaders.
“If this matches your vision for the future or coincides with your company’s philosophy, we’d love to hear from you,” says Dargan Hayes.
- October 2022: Design starts
- February 2023: Manufacturing begins
- June 2023: Car unveiling
- September 2023: Ship car to Australia
- October 2023: BWSC starts in Darwin
Because of the magnitude of designing and manufacturing a solar car and making the long journey to Australia for the WSC, the DCU Solar Racing Team is seeking substantial support for its campaign, says the team manager. This includes monetary contributions and donations in-kind, and ranges from construction materials and specialist equipment to air tickets, media campaigns and race supplies.
The team wishes to cultivate mutually beneficial relationships with all of its partners, says Dargan Hayes. "Each relationship will be different, but the following tier system is a broad outline of what potential partners can expect for their support. Sponsor logo presence and size on the first Irish solar car, as well as promotion on the website, will scale proportionally with the value of the sponsorship."
- Title Partner (please inquire). Diamond tier benefits plus: Naming of car/team; ‘Drive the car’ events (subject to availability pre/post WSC event); additional tailored benefits
- Diamond (€75,000 +) Platinum tier benefits plus: Designated section on website Use of solar car for company events (subject to availability pre/post WSC event) Corporate talks / Outreach support
- Platinum (€50,000 - €74,999): Gold tier benefits plus: Meet and greet events with team Limited access to solar car (subject to availability pre/post WSC event) Promotion at launch event
- Gold (€25,000 - €49,999): Silver tier benefits plus: Access to CVs of team members Logo and description on website Personal social media exposure
- Silver (€10,000 - €24,999): Bronze tier benefits plus: Logo on team uniform Logo and hyperlink on website
- Bronze (: €2,000 - €9,999): Supporter tier benefits plus Logo on solar car Logo on website
- Supporter (Below €2,000): Acknowledgement on website; Invitation to launch event; Our grateful thanks!
To discuss an exclusivity partnership or for any other queries, contact the team manager, Evan Dargan Hayes, at: email@example.com or telephone: 089 703 5003.