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Meet The Teams

Some of the world’s top solar car teams will compete in the 2018 Sasol Solar Challenge. Current world leaders and 2016 Sasol Solar Challenge winners, Delft University from the Netherlands, will return to defend their title.

Multiple record holders and winners of the 2008, 2010 and 2012 solar challenges, Tokai University from Japan, will also compete.

Teams from Switzerland, the USA, Hungary, Poland, Turkey and China are also expected to participate.

The South African contingent will be headed up by local champions, North West University. Challenging international teams alongside them will be the Tshwane University of Technology, University of Johannesburg, Vaal University of Technology, Central University of Technology, the University of Cape Town and possibly Stellenbosch and Pretoria Universities. 


Take a look at the teams who competed in the 2016 Sasol Solar Challenge below:

Team name: Anadolu
Car name: Sunatolia'3
Country: Turkey
Class: Challenger 

The Anadolu team was started a decade ago, and this is the second time they are participating in the Sasol Solar Challenge. In 2015, the Sunatolia’2 was the first ever Turkish solar car to cross the finish line at the World Solar Challenge. This year, the Sunatolia’3 will be competing against some of the best teams in the world here in South Africa.

The Anadolu team has built five cars in total, and the newest is already on its way to South Africa for this year’s competition. Their main focus in developing the Sunatolia’3 was on aerodynamics, and large parts of the car were 3D printed. They’ve changed much about the way they produce their solar cars – from the actual canopy to the process they use to produce composites.

This means that even for such an experienced team, the 2016 Sasol Solar Challenge will be a whole new experience!

Read more about their new car on their website, here.

Team name: DSJ Solar Car Team
Car name: Sonnenbrand III
Country: South Africa
Class: Challenger

The Deutsche Schule Johannesburg has been competing in the Sasol Solar Challenge for many years as one of the few high schools to attempt this enormous challenge. But as the learners graduate the team changes, and every race is different.

In 2016, the DSJ Solar Car Team will compete in the Challenger class with Illanga 1.5, donated to them by the University of Johannesburg. Rebranded as Sonnenbrand III, the challenger class solar car is being completely rebuilt for its newest trial. With new regulations government the Sasol Solar Challenge this year, much of the electronic wiring is being redone, and the cockpit changed to accommodate the two teachers who are driving the students’ pride and joy across the country this year.

Fifteen year-old team manager Aqeel Latib heads up the team of mostly Grade 8 and 9 students, many of whom dream of going on to study engineering at university. The Sasol Solar Challenge is an opportunity for them to get hands-on experience with engineering, but also to be exposed to an array of world class universities and engineering experts on the route.

Team name: GAMF Hungary
Car name: Megalux
Country: Hungary
Class: Challenger

The MegaLux Challenger solar car will be competing in the Sasol Solar Challenge in South Africa for the first time, manned by the Hungarian Kecskemet University team GAMF (the College of Mechanical Engineering and Automation).

The GAMF Hungary team competed in the World Solar Challenge in 2015, placing seventh in the Challenger class. Their aim in South Africa is to represent the only higher education institution in Hungary where solar research and engineering takes place. MegaLux represents an opportunity for students to be part of a scientific project where experience and ideas can exchange hands, and the team has a large variety of sponsors supporting them on the trip.

Their team motto is: “Knowledge is the fuel of the future!” – A team to watch as they debut in South Africa.

Follow MegaLux’ journey on their website, here.

Team name: Lodz Solar Team
Car name: Eagle One
Country: Poland
Class: Cruiser

The first ever Polish solar car to be built by students, Eagle One is the only competitor in the Cruiser class in the 2016 Sasol Solar Challenge, and the car is only a little over a year old.

The Lodz team competed for the first time last year in the World Solar Challenge, where they covered 3,000 kilometres and successfully crossed the finish line in sixth place in their class. The team was also awarded the Safety Award for the safest car and best prepared team.

Eagle One was designed to resemble a water drop, and will stand out among the other solar vehicles on the challenge this year. The uniquely designed car can be driven in traffic and is one of only two competitors on the Sasol Solar Challenge that can carry a passenger.

The 21-member team began improvements on Eagle One for the 2016 challenge almost immediately after returning from the global event, and will use this experience to build a completely new car to compete with in 2017.

Follow the newcomers online on Facebook, here.

Team name: Maragon Solar Eagles
Car name: Olympus
Country: South Africa
Class: Challenger

The Maragon Olympus is one of only two vehicles entered by high school teams, competing against world class cars in the Challenger class.

Established in 2013 to motivate students to follow science and engineering careers, the Olympus team forms part of the Maragon Solar Education Programme. It brings together elements of engineering, communication, marketing, logistics and project management.

Olympus weighs 280 kg and goes from 0 – 100 km/h in only seven seconds. It’s made of carbon fibre and resin, and the project has the biggest team in the Sasol Solar Challenge with 45 members.

A six square metre solar array slightly thicker than paper will soak up the sun and charge the 74V battery to power the electric motors in its two front wheels.

The 2016 car has had many improvements, including improved solar panels, suspension, aerodynamics (through extensive 3D modelling), telemetry (to allow the team to monitor Olympus’ vitals) and safety.

Follow this young but well-staffed team on their journey on Facebook, here.

Team name: MUT Solar Team
Car name: MUT Green Car
Country: South Africa
Class: Challenger

The Mangosuthu University of Technology based in KwaZulu-Natal has entered the Sasol Solar Challenge for the first time this year, and is a newcomer to solar car competitions in general.

Watch this space for more news as their first car is developed!

Team name: Near East University (NEU) Solar Car Team
Car name: Ra27
Country: Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus
Class: Challenger

The NEU solar team is unique among competitors. Unlike most teams, the 14-member team that built the Ra27 are actually part of a robotics laboratory at their university, and don’t specialize in automobiles or renewable energy.

In 2014, the team competed for the first time with Ra25, a solar car that won the adventure class in the Sasol Solar Challenge. This year they are back with Ra27 – an entirely new vehicle competing in a new class.

The car is called the Ra27 – after ‘Ra’ the sun god and their university’s 27 year anniversary.

Unlike it predecessor, Ra27 has four wheels instead of three. The carbon chassis makes it ultra-light, and two NEU team members were sent to London for a course on carbon fibre in order to acquire the skills to build this new frame. The car is also now 24% more efficient. 3D printing was used for some internal parts, and the car was launched and celebrated at the recent national Republic Day parade in Nicosia to celebrate the team.

Follow the robotics team’s journey in South Africa on their Facebook page, here.

Team name: Nuon Solar Team
Car name: Nuna 8S
Country: The Netherlands
Class: Challenger

The Nuon Solar Team from the Delft University of Technology are the current world champions as well as the title defenders of the Sasol Solar Challenge in South Africa. 

The 2016 team consists of eight students from different engineering backgrounds, working full time in order to participate in different Solar Challenges. The Nuon team has been competing since 2001, and has won the World Solar Challenge six times. In 2014 they competed in the Sasol Solar Challenge in South Africa for the first time and won, and will be back in 2016 to defend their title amidst high-calibre competition.

Nuna 8S is a high-end solar car funded primarily by the Delft University of Technology.

Follow their journey on Facebook, here.

Team name: NWU Solar Car Team
Car name: Sirius X25
Country: South Africa
Class: Challenger

The North-West University Solar Car Team has come a long way since they first competed in the Sasol Solar Challenge in 2012. By 2014, their second solar car double the distance covered in the first competition, finishing fourth in their class.

In 2015, the team became the first African team to ever cross the finish line at the World Solar Challenge, where they competed with the same car that we will see in the challenge this year. 

Sirius X25 has a top speed of 12 km/h, weighs 270 kilograms and has a 6 m2 solar panel array. In 2014, it was awarded for covering the most distance on a single day – over 400km. In 2015, they completed the 3,000 World Solar Challenge in 47 hours and 22 minutes, representing South Africa against 46 other cars from 25 countries. Sirius X25 crossed the line in 11th place.

Find out more about this proudly South African team, here

Team name: PI 21 Solar Team
Car name: Desert Lizard
Country: South Africa
Class: Challenger

The Desert Lizard is a newcomer to the Sasol Solar Challenge, competing in the Challenger class and built by an entirely new team.

The private team from Pretoria, South Africa, recently embarked on this journey, learning along the way. The Desert Lizard, unlike many challengers, has no composites in its shell and is made of steel and aluminium.

Watch this space for more information on the team as their vehicle is completed!