Bridgestone World Solar Challenge heats up
Dates and key regulation changes for the 2021 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge have been announced today and teams are urged to dream big in their quest to tackle the adventure.
The event’s 16th edition – to be held from 22 to 30 October next year – will again involve an epic 3,000-kilometre journey from Darwin to Adelaide. Its eight-day program is set to feature new elements in both cities including activities for families and schools, plus talks focusing on innovation, technology and sustainability.
Today’s announcement means entrants from around the globe can get to work on cutting-edge vehicles for the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge.
Events South Australia Executive Director Hitaf Rasheed said it was ideal to release regulations for the extreme endurance challenge on World Environment Day.
“The Bridgestone World Solar Challenge pushes the boundaries of human achievement, all with the aim of making road transport more sustainable,” she said.
“It complements South Australia’s leadership in high-tech industries, injects millions of dollars into the state’s economy and helps bring bold new ideas for the future of solar technology to life.”
The 2019 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge generated $6.12 million in economic impact for South Australia – a 14 per cent increase on 2017 – with 29,979 visitor nights within the state attributed to the event.
Minister for Energy Dan van Holst Pellekaan said South Australia is the natural home for the solar challenge with its world leading adoption of innovative renewable technology.
“From solar panels, to batteries and electric vehicles South Australia has embraced the creation of a renewable, sustainable future,” said Minister van Holst Pellekaan.
Event Director Chris Selwood AM said teams were eagerly anticipating today’s launch.
“Each event is unique and key drivers of our latest regulatory changes include challenging complacency and encouraging fresh thinking around the imperatives of sustainable transport, a fitting goal for World Environment Day,” Mr Selwood said.
“We hope teams taking on this great scientific adventure will be encouraged to focus on a positive future – and that preparations will offer a welcome return to the familiar after the upheaval of recent months.”
Mr Selwood also acknowledged support from Bridgestone Corporation, which is now in the first year of a decade-long extension as the event’s title sponsor. “We’re thrilled to continue partnering with Bridgestone Corporation to deliver this event, one that offers an authentic Australian outback experience and the chance to put solar vehicles to the ultimate test,” Mr Selwood said.
Bridgestone Corporation Japan, Vice President and Officer, Global Brand Strategy, Olympics, Paralympics & Active Healthy Lifestyle, Mr Mitsuhira Shimazaki, said the ongoing partnership reflects Bridgestone’s commitment to supporting the next generation of engineers and developing innovative technologies.
“We are seeing rapid transformation in the automotive industry, and this presents an exciting opportunity. Now is the time for us to challenge ourselves and shape the future and accelerate the development of advanced and sustainable mobility solutions,” Mr Shimazaki said.
“The Bridgestone World Solar Challenge is the ideal platform for the development of advanced and sustainable mobility solutions. By supporting this great event, we are continuing to invest in the people who dream bigger and innovating to create these advanced solutions for the future.”
The Bridgestone World Solar Challenge is owned and managed by the South Australian Tourism Commission on behalf of the South Australian Government. It receives crucial support from platinum sponsor the Northern Territory Government, with South Australian partners including Flinders University.
Volunteer registrations for next year’s event are also now open. Please visit www.worldsolarchallenge.org for more information.
Key regulation changes for the 16th edition (2021) of the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge include:
- Challenger Class solar cars must have three or more wheels
- New ground clearance requirements based on automotive standards
- New turning circle requirements for vehicles
- Solar collectors must have low environmental toxicity
- A standard manikin must fit into each seat
- Teams must have the dynamic stability of their solar car certified
- The emergency safe state may not have any voltage or current present outside of energy storage packs or the solar collector
- Solar cars must have daytime running lamps
- The license plate must be mounted at the rear of the solar car
- Introduction of additional driver changes and fatigue management protocols.