After a grueling eight days and almost 5 000 kilometers of tough terrain across various parts of South Africa, the annual Sasol Solar Challenge came to an end in Cape Town yesterday. The race is designed to determine which university can build the most energy-efficient solar-powered car while racing to the finish line.
The Netherland’s Delft University Nuon Solar Team dominated the race from the start and crossed the finish line first with an impressive 4 227km under its tires – which is 1 500km more than its nearest competitor. The team also broke another record by recording the furthest distance covered in a single day (680km).
The same record for a South African team was broken by the University of Kwa Zulu-Natal, who ultimately came in third place with a total distance driven of 2 418.3km. Fourth place went to North West University with a total distance of 2360.6 km travelled. Sadly the University of Johannesburg (UJ) only managed to get fifth place with its solar-powered car, which
cost around R1-million to manufacture received R1m from RS Components to help design and manufacture many custom built parts.
“This exciting challenge has brought the world’s leading minds in the field of solar technology together and the final results truly showcase the strides that have been made in the development of innovative technology,” said Winstone Jordaan, Sasol Solar challenge director, in a press statement.
Wrenelle Stander, Sasol’s senior vice president of public and regulatory affairs, explained that while the race is incredibly fun to participate in, it also serves to inspire the youth of South Africa to get involved in technology development.
“We believe it is important for South Africa to be part of developing future technologies to benefit the world over. While the purpose of the event is to promote research into sustainable transport and showcase technologies – our underlying goal is to use the event to spark the interest of young people and particularly school learners in key educational subjects.”
For a compete list of the final results, click here.