Overview

The South African Sasol Solar Challenge is a biennial competition and serves to be the ultimate test of technology and innovation. Solar car teams from across the world design and build solar-powered vehicles to drive across South Africa in an eight-day event while competing against one another, demonstrating their design, manufacturing, and strategy skills. The challenge travels from Boksburg to Stellenbosch via Jeffreys Bay, where the ultimate winner is the team who has clocked the most kilometres on their solar car.

There are three separate participation classes that teams can enter in, each with different rules and objectives.

Challenger Class

Vehicles entered in this class are built for optimal efficiency and endurance.  Design criteria defining this class includes:

Maximum Length = 5 m

Maximum Width = 2.2 m

Maximum Solar Array = 4 m²

Number of Wheels = 3+

Occupancy = 1 (driver/s)

Charging = Solar

 

Cruiser Class

Vehicles entered in this class are built for practicality and everyday applicability. 

Design criteria defining this class includes:

Maximum Length = 5 m

Maximum Width = 2.2 m

Maximum Solar Array = 5 m²

Number of Wheels = 4

Occupancy = 1 (driver/s) + at least 1 passenger

Charging = Solar

 

This vehicle class is also given the opportunity to charge electrically via EVSE (Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment) which results in a score reduction equivalent to the duration spent charging via external power sources. 

Adventure Class

Vehicles entered in this class are those not conforming to Challenger or Cruiser Class regulations and are also classified as non-competitive.  This class is however still deemed important as strange and wonderful innovations are brought to life through previously competing vehicles or brand new designs that challenge the way we think about the future of mobility. 

The solar car teams are run like professional racing teams, raising money to compete, doing their own marketing and logistics, and analysing the route's weather, road conditions and more. Along the route, the Sasol Solar Challenge traditionally draws thousands of spectators and inspires technology enthusiasts and future engineers.

In 2018, teams travelled distances between 2 500 km and 5 000 km. The 2018 event took place from 22 to 30 September. Teams navigated through some of the world’s most beautiful and diverse landscapes, from savannah and mountains to coastal forest. Dutch solar car team Nuon, now known as Vattenfall Solar Team, won the event, with Tokai Solar Car team from Japan in close second. Click here to read more about the 2018 event. 

The Sasol Solar Challenge is run and owned by a management team of experienced events professionals. See Contact Us for more information.