A glorious finish for TU/e students in solar-powered car with 5 occupants

A slowed battery and a broken center console right at the death. But in the end nothing or nobody could stop Solar Team Eindhoven from finishing with five occupants in Adelaide today. It all points to a certain first place for the team in the Cruiser Class: the category for practical, solar-powered cars.

On Saturday comes the final element of the competition: adjudication. Given the huge lead in points, this is unlikely to pose any threat to victory. On Sunday the organization will announce the winner of the world championship for practical solar-powered cars.

Final stage
The team arrived on Friday morning in Adelaide at around 4 am Dutch time after a journey of 3,021 kilometers, the final 250 of which was covered with 5 people aboard and at an average speed of 70 kilometers per hour.

On Saturday a jury will award points for aspects such as the comfort and innovative technology in the Eindhoven solar-powered car. Although points will be awarded for these aspects, the team has such a huge lead in terms of points that TU Eindhoven appears to be unassailable in the Cruiser Class.

The aim of the Cruiser Class is to transport as many people as possible 3,000 kilometers from Darwin to Adelaide in the most energy-efficient way. To win the title finishing and adjudication are compulsory.

Car of the future
Solar Team Eindhoven underlines this victory with its vision: the car of the future is one powered by solar energy. “Despite the minor technical setback, it is fantastic that the team succeeded in finishing with so many points,” says team manager Wout Gubbels. “And although we are now as good as assured of victory, we also want to show the jury that we have the best-performing solar-powered car. That’s part and parcel of our team’s vision: the car of the future is a solar-powered car.”

The Eindhoven team drove the first 1,500 km with five occupants aboard. To move one person 100 kilometers the solar-powered car uses 0.4 kiloWatt hours (kWh). Compare this to a modern electric car that requires at least 8.5 times as much energy to do the same job.

The presentation on Sunday 14 October at around midnight can be followed via social media and livestream.