The student team from Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) has won the Cruiser Class (for practical solar-powered cars) for the third time at this year’s Bridgestone World Solar Challenge in Australia.
|Photo: Bart van Overbeeke. Click to enlarge.|
The aim of the Cruiser Class is to transport as many people as possible 3,000 kilometers (1,864 miles) from Darwin to Adelaide in the most energy-efficient way. The Eindhoven team drove the first 1,500 km (932 miles) with five occupants aboard. To move one person 100 kilometers the solar-powered car uses 0.4 kiloWatt hours (kWh). By comparison, a modern electric car requires about 8.5 times as much energy to do the same job. Thanks to the efficiency of transporting the most number of people possible, the team had already build a significant lead in points by day two.
The team arrived on Friday morning in Adelaide after a journey of 3,022 kilometers (1,878 miles), the final 250 of which was covered with 5 people aboard and at an average speed of 70 kilometers per hour (43.5 mph). The whole journey was completed with an average of 3.4 persons per kilometer, using 48 kWh and gained a maximum score of 20 out of 20 for practicality on Saturday.
Eindhoven is one of the three Dutch teams and shared victory with the team from Delft, which won this year’s Challenger class in which single-occupant solar-powered cars race to see who is fastest. The team from the Twente University of Technology was fifth.