For over 30 years, the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge has welcomed the greatest minds from around the world to Australia to push the limits of technological innovation and travel the outback in a vehicle powered only by the energy of the sun. Traversing 3,000km from Darwin to Adelaide, teams comprise of tertiary and secondary students from over 30 countries.
These students and their support team have achieved greatness by engineering and building a vehicle with their own hands and powering it across some of the world's most challenging landscape.
Solar Team Eindhoven is the most successful team in the Cruiser Class for efficient, practical solar cars with two or more seats. This team, consisting of 20 students of the Eindhoven University of Technology, has won every single edition of the race, since its inception and its co-founder, Lex Hoefsloot, went on to commercialise the concept of a long-range solar electric vehicle, designed to be grid-independent. He found that building a commercial solar car is not a science problem, but an engineering problem. And an engineering problem can be solved by finding the right people, build a team and find funding and get going.
This led to the start of a new Dutch car company called LightYear. Its first car, the Lightyear One, is up to 3 times more energy efficient (83 Wh/km) than the electric vehicles currently on the market. This results in the lowest emissions, lowest charging frequency and 7,000km to 20,000km of free, clean solar range every year!
The production of the LightYear One is expected to start in about a year and reservations for those keen to be the first to drive a solar car (in the EU, Norway and Switzerland) are now open via the LightYear Website.
>> LightYear One, The Video
>> LightYear, The Story
The biannual World Solar Challenge is never complete without a Dutch Event to celebrate the many Dutch successes at this “world championship” for solar cars. In the photo, Lex Hoefsloot, LightYear CEO and co-founder is presenting at the 2019 World Solar Challenge Dutch Event on 18 October 2019 at the finish location, Victoria Square in Adelaide.
This DutchSA initiated event attracted the participation of well known South Australian (second generation) Dutchies, like SA Power Networks CEO, Rob Stobbe and Hon. Minister for Energy and Mining, Dan van Horst Pellekaan MP, as well as the Consul-General of The Kingdom of The Netherlands for Australia, Frank van Beuningen.