World Solar Challenge: Dutch Racing Team Wins Gold

October 17, 2013
Matthew Miller

The 2013 World Solar Challenge came to an end in Adelaide, Australia, with the Dutch Nuon solar racing team from the Delft University of Technology taking home gold in the challenger class. The win constitutes Nuon’s fifth in seven tries.

The World Solar Challenge is a biennial trans-continental race across Australia using solar powered cars. Teams from around the world, funded by universities, corporations and even high schools, designed and built their unique cars, and commenced the race on October 6 in the Northern Territory capitol Darwin. The course spans 3,000 km to the south, finishing in Adelaide.

The solar cars developed for the challenge test the boundaries of energy efficiency; each is uniquely designed for the race, and provides a comparison of technologies and strategies that can have impacts on both automobile and alternative energy research around the world.

Nuon’s vehicle, the Nuna7, finished after a total time of 33 hours and 3 minutes, with the team from Tokai University Japan finishing 2nd over 3 hours later. The Nuna7 averaged a speed of 90.71 km/h (56.4 mph), and can top out at 185 km/h.

“It’s the biggest pleasure you can get in your life,” stated Nuon team coach Wobbo Ockles in an interview with ABC after the win.

The World Solar Challenge’s 26-year history began with the purpose to “showcase the development of advanced automotive technology and promote alternatives to conventional vehicle engines.” The race has evolved over the years, and now consists of 3 classes, each with different requirements.

The 2013 race featured 42 total teams hailing from 25 different countries and 5 continents. The 10 challenger cars that crossed the finish line included University of Michigan and Stanford University contestants, in addition to teams hailing from Switzerland, Belgium, Australia, Canada and Ital

For more information on the World Solar Challenge race, check out or follow WSC on twitter and facebook.