Sasol Solar Challenge 2016…From Pretoria to Cape Town…

Founder of the Sasol Solar Challenge, Winstone Jordaan, had the idea of building an electric car in 2003. After visiting the World Solar Challenge in 2005 he realized that people in South Africa did not possess basic knowledge about electric cars. He was impressed by the 1400 skilled students from all over the world in Australia, and could only imagine how much knowledge South Africa would be able to gain when hosting a solar challenge as well. This knowledge will result in accomplishing the ultimate goal; an improved future for South Africa.

1.1 Goal and Objectives
Our eco-efficiency challenge allows teams from around the world to come together in South Africa to participate and demonstrate the sophistication and performance of solar-powered vehicles. The Purpose of the event is to promote research into sustainable transport, showcase technologies and present a platform for participants and the public to engage. The underlining goal of the solar challenge is to increase the number of people in South Africa that are interested in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects. These subjects are crucial to get the country to a higher level.

1.2 Organizing the Sasol Solar Challenge has resulted in giving South Africa a platform where they can exercise the skills in building cars locally. This in turn has resulted in an increased level of knowledge & curiosity in the industry about electric motors, its battery systems, vehicle aerodynamics and more. Secondly, solar cars show the public, what solar panels can do. When people will see solar panels driving a car, it creates a positive sentiment, building trust in its ability. Trusting this technology, will also make electric vehicles more acceptable in the community. Finally, the Sasol Solar Challenge motivates students to fresh thinking, a creative approach, and flexible solution.

1.3 History:
Fortunately, we managed to run the first South African Solar Challenge in 2008. Tokai was one of the teams competing in South Africa. Back then they competed with an eleven year-old car they built, with which they were able to win the race. The Japanese team leveraged massively from the victory in South Africa. It enabled them to receive sponsorships and build a new car to compete with in the World Solar Challenge in 2009, and ultimately win the Australian race.

The second edition of the solar challenge in 2010, included a 4 100 km route and five teams competing. The focus of this race was on recognition, compliance and alignment with the FIA. The aim of the 2012 event was to get more local teams participating, especially universities. A total of twelve teams competed in the third edition of the South African Solar Challenge.

In 2014, we raised the level of the event to an international standard. The World Solar Challenge Winners, NUNA from the Netherlands, joined us for an amazing event. The event started in Pretoria and finished the one way route in Cape Town.

In 2014, we launched an educational program, that entailed an educational kit which explained how solar powered vehicles work and material that enabled kids to build their own solar car. For the 2014 Solar Challenge more than 600 schools were engaged which makes it more than 350,000 scholars in total.

1.4 The Sasol Solar Challenge, South Africa, occurs on public roads with normal traffic. It is therefore essential that teams comply with the road rules and any conditions imposed by the road traffic authorities. The solar challenge will start in Pretoria on September 24th and ends eight days later in Cape Town going through Kroonstad, Bloemfontein, Gariep Dam, Graaff-Reinet, Port Elizabeth, Sedgefield and Swellendam. The main route will span approximately 2000km through the country, covering an average distance of 260km a day.

1.5 All correspondence regarding the Sasol Solar Challenge can be forwarded to: Annalie van Vuuren (Project/Event Manager) E-mail: Mobile: +27 71 687 0047 OR Winstone Jordaan (Race Director) E-mail: Mobile: +27 83 284 7747