Solar Team Eindhoven has been awarded with the overall win of the 2013 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge Cruiser Class, a brand new category for ‘family solar cars’ that took the epic 3020 kilometre journey from the Australian Darwin to Adelaide. With an almost perfect score of 97,5 per cent, the Dutch beat the German Bochum Hochschule.
Next to announcing the winners, there were three other awards to earn:
Technical Innovation Award: Punch Powertrain Solar Team
Event Safety Award: University of Calgary
The David Fewchuk Spirit of the event award: Stanford
Winner Challenger Class: Nuon Solar Team
Runner-up Challenger Class: Tokai Challenger
Third place Challenge Class: Solar Team Twente
Winner Cruiser Class: Solar Team Eindhoven
Runner-up Cruiser Class: Bochum Hochschule
Winner Adventure Class: Aurora Vehicle Association
Runner-up Adventure Class: Antikari
In total 36 team started this years competition.
Judgement in the Cruiser Class is based on four factors, namely finishing the race in the shortest amount of time, energy efficiency, person kilometres travelled and potential of design appeal & practicality. Three teams have been dominating throughout race: Solar Team Eindhoven from the Netherlands and Hochschule Bochum SolarCar Team from Germany and Sunswift from Australia. Sunswift crossed the finish line first – focussed on the speed aspect -, followed by the Dutch and the German team (which focussed on energy efficiency).
On Saturday the cars were being judged on practicality like the amount of sufficient space for suitcases, design details of the car, licence plate registration, how many passenger seats and the ability of parallel parking. Solar Team Eindhoven turned out to be the winner with an overall score of 97,5 per cent.
Nuon Solar Team from the Netherlands and Tokai Challenger from Japan were battling for the overall win throughout their journey. Only in the end the Japanese students had to let go their rival when cloudy and rainy conditions destroyed their strategy. They finished in second place, in front of Solar Team Twente from the Netherlands which has been chased down by Stanford Solar Car Project from the United States. The car of the Aurora Vehicle Association was a league of its own in the Adventure Class, beating the Antakari from Chile with a day.
The next World Solar Challenge will take place in 2015.
Photos: Nuon Solar Team / Hans-Peter van Velthoven and Solar Team Eindhoven / Bart van Overbeeke