TEAM NEAME | Agoria Solar Team
CAR NAME | BluePoint Atlas
COUNTRY | Belgium
CLASS | Challenger
Current world solar challenge champions, Agoria Solar Team, are coming to South Africa to compete in the 2022 Sasol Solar Challenge.
The team won the 2019 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge and decided to come and compete in South Africa to challenge their abilities and knowledge in an adventurous and exciting way and grow significantly as engineers as they continue to contribute to the world of renewable technologies.
“This will be the first time that the team competes in South Africa. The Sasol Solar Challenge is one of a kind. It requires us to rethink our strategies and that’s an exciting challenge for us. We look forward to the adventure in September,” said team manager Pieter April.
The team from the University of Leuven in Belgium is the first Belgian team to ever build a solar car. The team now owns nine solar cars and builds a new car every two years – since 2003.
In order to improve and hone their skills, the team started participating in international solar challenges and have since competed in 16 solar challenges around the world. One of the most outstanding skills they have is changing a flat tire in less than 80 seconds.
“We attribute these accomplishments to the members who came before us. It's been a journey of many dedicated engineering students in the past years,” said April.
For the past 17 years, the team has been imparting a great deal of knowledge to high school learners in Belgium. They founded a Solar Olympiad competition, where groups of high school learners design a solar-powered gadget or vehicle.
With passion for solar challenges, the team participated in the 2017 Memorial Van Damme athletics event in Belgium to compete with a Kenyan athlete, Nicholas Kiplangat Kipkoech. The Belgian solar car passed Kipkoech and crossed the finish line in just three seconds before him.
The team is coming to the Sasol Solar Challenge to compete with their 170 kg BluePoint Atlas - named after one of the team’s partners. BluePoint Atlas competed in the 2021 Solar Challenge Morocco. It’s predecessor, BluePoint, competed in the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge 2019 and the iLumen European Solar Challenge 2020 and 2021.
The 11-member team aged 21 to 24 years, includes four drivers. Skills range from energy, mechanical, electronics, civil to aerospace engineering.