City University of Hong Kong Solar Car Team

TEAM | City University of Hong Kong Solar Car Team

CAR NAME | Reysol

COUNTRY | Hong Kong, China

CLASS | Adventure

The Sasol Solar Challenge was the first event that the City University of Hong Kong solar car team competed in, outside of their city.

The team built a two-seater for the Sustainability class category. While the university has been building experimental solar cars since 2015, this was the first time that they designed a fully roadworthy vehicle to compete in an international event.

The ten engineering students were also supported by their university’s School of Creative Media, and the Business and English departments helped with admin and communications.

The students on the 2018 team met each other virtually through online racing car games when they were teenagers. When they landed up at the same university, they decided to turn their gaming hobby into a solar car project.

Because of their love for classic racing cars, the exterior design of Reysol, the car that came to South Africa, was inspired by classic racing cars from the 1970s. Like an ordinary car, Reysol included rims, a chassis and suspension repurposed from an old racing car. Unlike their competitors, the team built a carbon steel body, making their car quite heavy for a solar car.

Reysol weighed 900kg, which is still much less than normal internal combustion engine vehicles. To carry this weight, the team fitted two high output motors and a large 18kW/h GLM battery.

The value of the car was estimated at 500,000 Honk Kong Dollars (roughly R860,000).

Because this was the team’s first solar car event, they weren’t aiming to be too competitive. They used the 2018 Sasol Solar Challenge as a learning experience, to test Reysol and collect data with which to attract sponsors for their next, more competitive solar car.

The team from Hong Kong were the sole competitors in the Sustainability class, for which charging is allowed, City University completed 175.5 kilometres. With their hyper-realistic car, Reysol, a crowd-pleasing addition to the event in 2018, they aimed to use this experience to return in 2020 with an all improved vehicle.