Organizers of the world's foremost solar car race, the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge today announced the largest lineup ever for this year’s running of the biennial event. Bridgestone welcomed the announcement as a demonstration of the increasing relevance the event plays in the future of the automotive industry.
A total of 53 teams from 24 countries will take part in the 2019 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge (BWSC), which takes place from 13-20 October. The event invites some of the world’s brightest minds to design, build and develop solar powered cars to traverse 3,000km from Darwin, Northern Territory to Adelaide, South Australia.
Headlining the record entry list are 30 ‘Challenger Class’ entries, which will compete for outright honors in the event, complemented by a 23-strong contingent of ‘Cruiser Class’ entries – a category which challenges teams to deliver a practical, marketable solar electric car that is judged on design appeal as well as energy consumption.
Bridgestone has been the title sponsor of the event, and has continuously supplied teams with specially-developed solar car tires since 2013. Through its involvement in the event, Bridgestone aims to help foster the development of sustainable mobility while supporting the ambitions of young engineers.
The event partnership aligns seamlessly with the three priority areas of Bridgestone’s global corporate social responsibility (CSR) commitment, ‘Our Way to Serve’: mobility, people and environment.
The announcement, held at the finish line of the event, Adelaide’s Victoria Square, was attended by Bridgestone Director of Brand Strategy and Communications Division, Kazutoshi Oyama, Bridgestone Australia & New Zealand Managing Director, Stephen Roche, South Australia’s Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, the Hon David Ridgeway, and Bridgestone World Solar Challenge Event Director, Chris Selwood.
“Bridgestone is committed to the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge on a global level because we share the same values as the event. We are delighted that this year’s Bridgestone World Solar Challenge boasts the largest field ever, and we are encouraged to see so many students sharing our passion for the pursuit of sustainable mobility,” Stephen Roche said.
“Through our sponsorship of the World Solar Challenge, Bridgestone Corporation develops new technologies for customers around the world. Our low-rolling resistance, fuel efficient Ecopia tires, are an example of innovation and technology linked directly to the event.”
With the rise in prominence of hybrid technology and growing popularity of electric vehicles around the world, the developments of the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge are proving to be increasingly relevant for the future of automotive design.
“The point of this challenge has always been to realize a more sustainable way to travel and we are now so much closer to the reality of sustainable, energy positive, solar electric cars,” said Bridgestone World Solar Challenge Event Director, Chris Selwood.
“BWSC solar cars are no longer the realm of fantastic, imaginary vehicles dreamed up by enthusiasts and niche inventors. The research and development being tested in this event now makes its way into mainstream commercialization, such as Bridgestone. With the Paris Agreement deadlines, European bans and phasing out of petrol and diesel cars becoming a reality, the BWSC is globally significant,” Mr. Selwood said.
The 2019 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge commences from Darwin, Northern Territory from Sunday, 13 October and concludes in Adelaide, South Australia on Sunday, 20 October.