The 2022 Sasol Solar Challenge is not only bringing an electrifying endurance challenge on South African roads, but will also host the top international and local solar car teams. These include seven-time global champions and current global champions of solar challenges.
These top teams are; Agoria Solar Team, Brunel Solar Team, Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) Solar Team and North West University Solar Team.
“We are delighted to host both the global champions and our very own local top teams in the Sasol Solar Challenge. We can proudly say that the event is one of the biggest solar challenges globally and continue to be the ultimate test of technology and innovation,” said Robert Walker, Owner and Director of the Sasol Solar Challenge. “What puts these teams at the top of the list, is that it’s not only their ability to rack-up the most kilometres, but the technologies that they use in their solar cars as well, to be able to endure the test of their vehicles' performance, efficiency, and durability. We look forward to have all the teams on the road and to witnessing the cutting-edge technology and innovations they have developed for this year’s Sasol Solar Challenge.”
Agoria Solar Team from Belgium are the current global champions of solar challenges and own nine solar cars. The team started competing in solar challenges in 2005 and they will be competing in South Africa for the first time. They decided to come to the Sasol Solar Challenge to test 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.
"We are thrilled and look forward to competing against other top solar car teams from around the world. We will be competing in the Sasol Solar Challenge with BluePoint Atlas, our solar car which competed in the Moroccan Solar Challenge in 2021,” said Pieter April team manager for Agoria Solar Team. “We have been working on our solar car for almost a year, improving its parts in order to meet the Sasol Solar Challenge regulations. We're excited to finally commence with the scrutineering process, alongside our major competitors. Knowing that we will be driving our solar car on South African roads for the first time, on unknown terrains, makes it more exciting.”
The other international team, Brunel Solar Team, are seven-time global champions, and are also former champions of the 2014, 2016 and 2018 Sasol Solar Challenges.
The team participates in the Sasol Solar Challenge because of the event’s challenging but exciting format.
“The format of the Sasol Solar Challenge is what keeps us coming back to compete in the event. There is however a strong competition, and to be part of the top four teams is exciting for us. It pushes us to continue testing our limits in order to develop innovative and sustainable technologies, “ said Sanne Vilters, team leader for Brunel Solar Team. “We worked hard the entire year, improving and testing some of the car parts, and we are now ready to face the challenge and to push our own boundaries.”
She added that: “Our focus is on the efficiency of the car and to harness the power of sunlight as much as possible. We look forward to the eight-day long challenge especially to the newly incorporated stages, the marathon and blind stages.”
Meanwhile, one of South Africa’s top teams, Tshwane University of Technology Solar Team said they were thrilled to be part of the 2022 Sasol Solar Challenge and hope to retain their local champions title. They have been competing in the Sasol Solar Challenge since 2012, and were crowned South African champions of the Sasol Solar Challenge in 2018.
“We have been preparing for this event for a while now, we can proudly say that we are ready to take on the eight-day long challenge. We will be defending our title for local champions crowned at the 2018 Sasol Solar Challenge,” said team managers for TUT Solar Team.
“We are excited to see so many local teams competing in this year’s event and we don’t take the local competitors lightly as we believe we are equally matched, therefore reliability and energy planning will be our focus. We do not yet have what it takes to challenge the top international teams, but we look forward to be close on their heels as we enter a new town each day of the event.”
The other local top team, the North West University Solar Team, is one of two South African solar car teams that have competed in the gruelling Bridgestone World Solar Challenge in the 2015 and 2017.
They have been competing in the Sasol Solar Challenge since 2012. In 2016, they set a record with the furthest distance in a day racking up 611.9 km and 3, 524 km for the entire eight-day challenge.
“This year's event is special to us, not only because we will be competing against other top solar car teams in the world, but also because this year is our 10th anniversary in the Sasol Solar Challenge,” said Wynand Grobler, spokesperson for NWU Solar Car Team. “After having experienced some difficulties during the Ilanga Cup Solar Challenge in July this year, our team's bond has grown even stronger and we are ready to take on the eight-day long challenge. We are proud to build upon the legacy of the NWU's Solar Car Team and are excited to see what the journey ahead holds for us.”
Robert Walker, Owner and Director of the Sasol Solar Challenge said: “Having the top solar car teams from around the world compete head-to-head in the Sasol Solar Challenge, is proof of how much the event has grown throughout the years, and also shows its impact globally.
He added that: “These teams are always looking for ways to advance their technologies in order to continue contribute towards the energy and transport sectors, and the Sasol Solar Challenge - with its extremely challenging format each year - presents them with that opportunity.”
Nozipho Mbatha, Senior Manager: Group Brand and Sponsorships at Sasol said: “It’s great to host the top solar car teams in the 2022 Sasol Solar Challenge. The most important thing is that these teams are not only celebrating to be at the top but are imparting their knowledge and skills to other existing solar car teams and upcoming teams especially from high school level. We hope to celebrate more of these achievements as the event continues to grow and inspire scholars and private engineers globally, to develop their own STEM solutions.”
Spectators are welcome at all stops, and more information on the route and the teams can be found at:
https://www.solarchallenge.org.za/ or on social media:
Sasol Solar Challenge App
For IOS system download here:
For Android system download here: