Countdown to Sasol Solar Challenge begins

Teams from around the globe will descend on South Africa to participate in the Sasol Solar Challenge, the South African leg of the international solar car challenge.

September 3, 2012

Teams from around the globe will descend on South Africa to participate in the Sasol Solar Challenge, the South African leg of the international solar car challenge. Held every two years, under the auspices of Motorsport South Africa  and the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), this eco-efficiency challenge allows teams from around the world to congregate to demonstrate the sophistication and performance of solar powered vehicles bringing through leading technology.

The solar challenge will take place from the 18 to 28th September 2012 and will see 12 local and international teams taking part in the race.

Ranked as one of the top global events of its kind, the Sasol Solar Challenge is an exciting competition aimed at educating people in the areas of science, innovation, teamwork and business principles. The challenge is a collaborative approach between scholars, students, private individuals and various industry and government partners that will see competitors come together to design and build their own engineering systems, and ultimately drive a solar powered vehicle over a 5400km journey.

The competition also serves as a practical and engaging application of maths, science and technology, exposing learners and students to the opportunities of a potential career in this field. The Sasol Solar Challenge encourages knowledge transfer from international participants and establishes best practice in technology and engineering for solar systems and electric vehicles all on a platform of a solar powered vehicle.

“South Africa has an abundance of direct sunshine and we are evaluating options to harness this power through solar power technologies. Solar power is flexible and can offer energy solutions across different applications,” said Henry Loubser, Managing Director, Sasol New Energy.

He added, “Sasol New Energy focuses on developing options and new technologies for Sasol to utilise in a carbon-constrained world.  Developing alternative energy technologies, such as solar, adds to Sasol’s expanding new energy portfolio and will in turn contribute to the country’s transition to a low carbon economy.”

The 5400km challenge will see the solar cars depart on a two week journey around the country through different terrains in cars that have been conceptualised and designed entirely by the teams participating.

Sasol Solar Challenge race organiser, Winstone Jordaan said, “We are excited about this year’s solar challenge. One of the key objectives of the competition is to encourage young minds to become involved in innovation, engineering and the sciences. The wealth of South Africa lies in our ability to develop and retain engineers and scientists, as they contain the keys to unlocking the future.  Having Sasol take a strong lead in supporting this event, has certainly contributed to its success.”

Follow the Sasol Solar Challenge on Twitter @aef_sasc, like us on www.facebook.com/sasolarchallenge and visit us at www.solarchallenge.co.za