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Solar Car Races

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Solar cars were first built by universities and manufacturers.

During the 1990s, regulations requiring an approach to "zero emissions" from vehicles increased interest in new battery technology. Battery systems that offer higher energy density became the subject of joint research by federal and auto industry scientists.

Solar cars were first built by universities and manufacturers. The sun energy collector areas proved to be too large for consumer cars, however that is changing. Development continues on solar cell design and car power supply requirements such as heater or air-conditioning fans.

Solar Car Races

Hans Tholstrup and Larry Perkins were the first solar car racers who completed a Solar Trek from Perth to Sydney, Australia in 1983.

In the 1987 race, the GM Sunraycer completed the 3010 km trip with an average speed of 67 kmh, setting the scene for an extensive research and development program among the teams.

In 1987, the World Solar Challenge invited bright young engineers and scientists from around the world to pursue the ideals of sustainable transport. The ultimate challenge design and build a car capable of travelling across the Australian Continent on the power of sunlight and prove it by undertaking the 3000km journey in the spirit of friendly competition against others with the same goal.

By 2005, with Nuna 3 completing the journey with an average speed in excess of 100 km/h, and the top five teams handicapped by the 110 km/h speed limit throughout the State of South Australia, the Challenge had been well and truly met.

Faced with the comments that, out on the unrestricted roads throughout the Northern Territory some support crews could not keep up with 130 km/h solarcars, and the possibility that new speed limits may be imposed by 2007, we were forced to bring forward plans for a new generation car to stretch the goals once again.

On World Environment Day 2006 we are honoured to announce our new challenge - the new generation solarcar. A solarcar that sponsors and the general public may relate to. Born of the ideals of the Charter of Olympia, we challenge the best to create the next generation solarcar.

With 6 sq mtrs of solar collectors, driver access and egress unaided, upright seating position and many new safety requirements this is a solarcar to rekindle the imagination. A solarcar which with little modification could be the basis for a practical proposition for sustainable transport.

The specifications which have been under discussion for many months, are now able to be published. There are many synergies with other international events and they move closer to those regulations promulgated by the FIA.

The 20th anniversary event is not just for the new cars cars which have participated in any previous event sanctioned by the ISF are welcome to enter the Adventure Class with its own trophy, and of course what would a 20th anniversary event be without the reunion of past participants, with or without their historic cars. And of course we welcome colleagues, families and friends to Share the Adventure!

Regulations, specifications and the preliminary (text only) event information are available for download here.

Over the coming months, this site will be updated with exciting details of the 20th anniversary edition of this iconic event. Once again we thank Panasonic for being our major sponsor, and acknowledge the outstanding vision of that organisation in making the commitment to support this event.


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