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Record entries turn up the heat for the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge

Driving through the streets of Adelaide's CBD, Bridgestone World Solar Challenge 2015
Hon Leon Bignell MP
Minister for Tourism

The 2017 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge (BWSC) has been officially launched in Adelaide, with a record number of entries.

50 teams from 26 countries will start the 3000 km Darwin to Adelaide journey from 8-15 October.

Local teams include University of Adelaide, Flinders University and TAFESA – along with entries from Canberra, Queensland and NSW.

They’ll compete against a record number of international entrants including from Germany, Egypt and Sudan, the first entry from Russia since 1993, and Dutch Champions – Nuon Solar Team.

Minister for Tourism Leon Bignell launched the 2017 BWSC alongside Bridgestone Corporation’s Global Head of Marketing Mr Takashi Tomomoto, Bridgestone World Solar Challenge Event Director, Chris Selwood AM, and World Solar Challenge Ambassador, Jessica Bloom.

Background

The Bridgestone World Solar Challenge started in 1987 and is held biennially.

In 2015 the BWSC pumped $6.78 million into South Australia’s visitor economy, welcoming 35,150 visitor nights and creating the equivalent of 69 full time jobs.

In 2015, 47 entries from 25 countries were received with 42 teams taking to the start line in Darwin.

The event had 1,500 participants and a global audience around 25 million.

For more information visit www.worldsolarchallenge.org

The start of the Bridgestone Solar Challenge can also be viewed live at the State Government’s Open State Festival headquarters on North Terrace.

South Australia has built its reputation on its clean environment and we are now leading the nation’s transformation to the next generation of renewable storage technologies and creating an international reputation for high-tech emerging industries.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Tourism Leon Bignell

The Bridgestone World Solar Challenge is a fantastic event which not only delivers millions of dollars into our visitor economy but increases awareness around sustainable transport through renewable energy.

I’m delighted to meet with Bridgestone’s Global Head of Marketing Mr Takashi Tomomoto –Bridgestone are a terrific sponsor and partner in this event and it’s terrific we can mark the 30 year anniversary with a record number of entries.

The countdown to the 2017 BWSC is officially on and the Dutch can expect a run for their money. It’s very impressive to see our leading universities have been working with some of the best in the industry, building their solar-cars using locally developed technologies and incorporating advanced features that have never been seen before.

Quotes attributable to Bridgestone World Solar Challenge Event Director Chris Selwood The BWSC 30-year anniversary is an opportunity to celebrate what we’ve become - the largest solar event in the world.

From 20 teams in our inaugural 1987 field to 50 entries this year - how we’ve grown. In thirty years close to 10,000 competitors have participated in this incredible event that transcends borders - Mechanical Engineering, Aerospace, Mathematics, Computer Science, Engineering, Astrophysics, Business, Film and Media, Industrial Design, Marketing - the list goes on.

Of course, the point of this Challenge is not just to go fast, or to develop technology that will never reach the mainstream. Our founder, Hans Tholstrup, our faculty, and competitors past and present, are all determined to make sustainable, energy positive, solar electric cars and renewable technology a reality. 

Every event year is special, but this one is on track to eclipse past performance.