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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: Tokai University Solar Team
Car name: Tokai Challenger
Country: Japan
Class: Challenger

The Tokai University Solar Team are former world champions, and the Tokai Challenger taking part in South Africa this year won bronze in the world championship in 2015.

The car is designed and tested in collaboration with students from Tokai University and several Japanese companies in the automotive industry.

The Tokai team has won several World Solar Car challenges, and are veterans of the Sasol Solar Challenge. The Tokai Challenger has been improved since last year, incorporating new technologies, increasing power generation efficiency, decreasing drag, weight and resistance and optimising mechanical design. It is fitted with Panasonic solar cells, a Toray and Toray Carbon Magic ultra-light body, Mitsuba motors, and Bridgestone resistance tyres.

Read more about their journey on Facebook, here.

Team name: TUT Solar Car
Car name: Sun Chaser 2
Country: South Africa
Class: Challenger

The Tshwane University of Technology team are returning to the Sasol Solar Challenge to once again compete in the Challenger class. Their 2016 car is the Sun Chaser 2 – building on lessons learnt from its predecessor.

The TUT team has won several awards in the past at the South African event, in several classes. In 2012, their car Fire of the Dawn was built in only two weeks and still managed to win an award for completing the longest distance in a single day.

Follow the team’s progress in the 2016 Sasol Solar Challenge on Facebook, here.

Team name: UJ Solar Team
Car name: Ilanga ll
Country: South Africa
Class: Challenger

The UJ solar team consists of 20 mechanical and electrical engineering students, and has been competing in the Sasol Solar Challenge since 2011.

Illanga II has been upgraded since its last race in 2014, and is capable of doing up to 130 km/h and cruising at 75 km/h on its lithium-ion batteries alone.

The Illanga II will compete in the Challenger class. It has a R5 million gallium arsenide solar panel array, a max speed of 100km/h, can carry drivers of up to 80kg and 1,7m tall, and weighs less than 200kg in total. The steering wheel and other integral parts were 3D printed, and the car is one-wheel drive.

The UJ Solar Team is part of the UJ Energy Movement, which promotes the study of alternative energy, energy management and sustainable engineering design.

Follow the second rising of Ilanga II on Facebook, here.

Team name: ZingCO Electric Vehicle
Car name: ZingBug
Country: South Africa
Class: Sustainability

The ZingCo team is a group of green-entrepreneurs who each have their own initiatives in clean technology. Entered into the Sustainability class, the ZingBug 1 will be the only vehicle on the Sasol Solar Challenge that isn’t fitted with solar panels.

The ZingBug 1 is a converted electric Volkswagen Beetle, allowed to recharge along the way. It has a retro interior, a modest range of 30 – 75 kilometres

They will be driving on solar power as much as possible, however, by powering the electric car’s batteries with a mobile solar panel unit along the way. The team will also be using solar power to cook all their food during the eight-day race.

The 11-member team’s biggest aim this year is simply to finish the race.