Panasonic World Solar Challenge 2007 header   Panasonic World Solar Challenge




While not strictly an accurate description of this now famous event, which is actually a road race across Australia that is open to anyone in the world to enter, rather than an event encompassing the world.  That small quibble aside, the World Solar Challenge motivates research and development into harnessing solar energy for future transport needs for many years. There is a World Solar Navigation 


Competitors, driven by a motivation to win a prestigious solar event, can also rest easy in the knowledge that they are contributing towards a vital search for sustainable transport alternatives for future generations. The space age cars which travel at various speeds between Darwin and Adelaide on the sun's radiation and human's ingenuity alone give people an appreciation of a cleaner, better future using solar energy.



Australia route map Darwn to Adelaide world solar challenge


Australia route map Darwn to Adelaide world solar challenge

Danish born Adventurer, Hans Thostrup, created the World Solar Challenge. To understand what lead him to this, we should try and understand the man. Born in 1944, Tholstrup became a household name when he became the first person to circumnavigate Australia in a 16 foot open boat.

Years of participating in motor sport around the world, especially car rallies saw Hans busy wasting fuel until the fuel crisis in the late seventies. A new life began when he was inspired to find out how far rather than how fast you could go on a litre of petrol. This led to winning economy runs in cars and the establishment of the world's first economy run for trucks, and proving that driving style can be responsible for 30% of the fuel used in the transport of goods.

Another idea, sponsored by BP, was the crossing of Australia on just solar power. Larry Perkins helped Hans to drive the world's first solar car, the "Quiet Achiever", the 4052 kilometres between Sydney and Perth in 20 days. This, the ultimate energy saving crossing, was ten days faster than that by the first petrol engine car.

Hans was determined to build on these developments and continue to drive on the strength of sunshine. With man's first walk on the moon still fresh in people's memory, the time was ripe for solar invention. He felt that a race was the answer and thus the energy R&D event, the World Solar Challenge, was born.

The first World Solar Challenge was staged in 1987, with a field of 23 fantastic cars led by the GM Sunraycer which completed the trip with an average speed of 67km/h.

The cars in 1990 were a great improvement on 1987. Many competitors returned with the strength of experience, and new entries had another three years of R&D to create and refine their vehicles. The 1990 winner was the Biel team from a Swiss Engineering School. The townsfolk of Biel were responsible for donating one dollar each towards the success of the entry. With a school winning such a prestigious event, the World Solar Challenge became known as "Brain Sport".

1993 saw the 1987 GM Sunraycer record broken. Honda took the honours over Biel, and travelled 803 kilometres in one day. Yet again the entire field was impressive, and a sign of the event growing from strength to strength.

The goal of finishing the World Solar Challenge in four days was realised in 1996, when Honda repeated their performance with another stunning win, and a record average speed of 89.76 km/h. For most other competitors however, the race was far from over, with the remainder of the field spread out over 1700 km of the Stuart Highway. Over the ensuing six days a further 32 of the original 46 competitors would cross the finish line to complete their epic 3000km journey.

Following the 1996 event, Tholstrup sold up. The eventual winner of the bids was the State of South Australia, who announced an event in 1998, however many reasons lead to the "deferment" of the 1998 event, which was eventually run in 1999 under the new leadership of Chris Selwood. The 1999 event saw 43 teams from 14 countries traverse the continent, and the Australian "Aurora" team won the event.

A commitment to support the International Solar Energy Society World Congress in 2001 saw the event restaged once more, with new records set. 2001 also saw the introduction of the "Demonstration Class" which was designed to showcase vehicles exhibiting practical technology that has evolved from the World Solar Challenge.

An in depth evaluation of the aims and outcomes of the event, together with a survey of teams and stake holders showed the World Solar Challenge to be the premier solar car event in the world, with a large majority supporting a biennial program.







Postal Address

GPO Box 1972
Adelaide 5001


Street Address

Level 8
50 Grenfell St
Adelaide 5000


p: +61 8 8463 4500 (switchboard)
p: *61 8 8463 4690
f: +61 8 8463 4718



Media Enquiries

Events South Australia

Contact: Michele D'Aloia
Address: GPO Box 1972, Adelaide SA 5001
Phone: +61 8 8463 4695
Mobile: 0417 837 896
Fax: +61 8 8463 4718


Sponsorship Enquiries

Events South Australia

Contact: Simon Romaniuk
Address: GPO Box 1972, Adelaide SA 5001
Phone: +61 8 8463 4690




Toshiro Kisaka managing director Panasonic Australia


Toshiro Kisaka

Managing Director, Panasonic Australia



The 2007 Panasonic World Solar Challenge


2005 was the first year of Panasonic’s involvement in the World Solar Challenge. We are proud to continue to partner such an environmental and technological event in a global climate where demands on limited oil reserves are increasing at an alarming rate and the needs for alternative sources of energy, particularly for transport, are paramount.


You may have heard the words ‘Panasonic – ideas for life’, - our worldwide corporate brand slogan. This slogan represents the commitment of all our employees to provide products and services based on valuable ideas that can enrich people’s lives and help advance society. This is particularly true for the environment.


In Japan Panasonic is working to develop energy generation products which will contribute greatly to the reduction of CO2 emissions. In February this year Panasonic delivered the first Household Fuel Cell Cogeneration System which synthesizes water from hydrogen and oxygen and uses the electricity generated as a household energy source.


Another Panasonic project in Japan is a standalone hybrid outdoor lighting system which uses energy generated from wind and solar power to run the lights. These lights have been installed at the 2005 World Exposition site in Aichi, Japan.


Other ‘ideas for life’ are at work in Panasonic’s production of a specialised automotive battery for the Toyota ‘Prius’, the world’s first Hybrid Electric Vehicle. Similar batteries will be supplied in Toyota’s soon-to-be extended Hybrid Electric Vehicle range.


On behalf of Panasonic Australia, we wish all teams every success in the Panasonic World Solar Challenge, 2007.






The following organisations have put their support behind the World Solar Challenge 2007:








PRESS RELEASE  -  Tuesday 5th June, 2007 

From:  Hon Jane Lomax-Smith 

Minister for Education & Children's 
Minister for Tourism 
Minister for the City of Adelaide 


The 2007 Panasonic World Solar Challenge is claimed to be the ultimate road challenge in sustainable energy and is expecting record entries for this year’s event. 


Tourism Minister Jane Lomax-Smith announced today that the 2007 Panasonic World Solar Challenge would have 46 competing teams from 21 countries. 


“Today is World Environment Day and it’s no better time to announce the breadth of teams and countries being represented in this years Panasonic World Solar Challenge. 

“The current team entry list proves that this event is truly inspired by adventure and fuelled by the spirit of friendly competition, attracting teams from research and educational institutions around the world,” Dr Lomax-Smith says. 

“This biennial event is based on a competitive field of solar cars crossing the Australian continent powered by nothing but the sun. 

“Teams are required to research, build and design vehicles capable of completing the 3000km journey from Darwin in the Northern Territory to Adelaide South Australia.” 

2007 will be the 20th anniversary year of the Panasonic World Solar Challenge. This is an energy efficiency challenge, all about creating a balance between sustainable speed and endurance, energy management and strategic planning. 

“The young people committed to participate in this event are destined to be the very ones who will be responsible for delivering these technologies in the future.” 

Since 1987, the purpose of this event has been to promote and celebrate educational and technical excellence, and draw attention to the imperatives of sustainable transport. 

“Whilst the notion of actually driving a solar car on the road as seen in this event may not be likely, it is very likely that we will all be driving electric cars one day,” says Dr Lomax-Smith. 

“Some of that electricity may come from a renewable source such as solar energy quite possibly using technology developed through this event.” 

World Environment Day, commemorated each year on 5 June, is one of the principal vehicles through which the United Nations stimulates worldwide awareness of the environment. 

The Panasonic World Solar Challenge is the means to work towards a cleaner, greener and more sustainable environment. 

News Release  -


The 2007 Panasonic World Solar Challenge will be held from 21-28 October 2007. All cars will depart from Darwin on 21 October and the leading teams are expected to arrive in Adelaide four days later. 






World Solar Challenge navigation global route


Two European teams are now planning to try and set world navigation records in a solar powered boat.  The first team is from the United Kingdom, led by Nelson Kruschandl.  His vessel is called Solar Navigator.  The development of this project has been mostly in the backyard and on local waters.  


The second and latest team to decide to go for it as of March 16 2006, are PlanetSolar, a Swiss/French team is made up of 15 persons, 11 concerned with the boat and expedition directly and 4 on a sponsorship committee - as listed below.





Solarnavigator a solar powered trimaran concept

Solar powered trimaran concept drawing


PlanetSolar a solar powered trimaran concept boat


PlanetSolar - solar powered trimaran





Teams entered in the 2007 Panasonic World Solar Challenge to date are: 

Ashiya University Solar Car Project -  Japan 

Aurora Vehicle Association Inc  -  Australia 

Aurora Vehicle Association Inc  -  Australia 

Blue Sky Solar Racing  - Canada 

CPDM-UM Solar Team - Malaysia 

Esteban - Canada 

FH Bochum Solar Car Team - Germany 

Gwawr - Wales 

Hachinohe Institute of Technology - Japan 

Helios - France 

Heliox Solar Team - Switzerland 

Houston Solar Car Race Team - USA 

Kansas State University Solar Car Racing Team - USA 

Leeming Senior High School - Australia 

McMaster Solar Car Project - Canada 

Nanyang Technological University Solar Car Team - Singapore 

Nuon Solar Team - Netherlands 

Oregon State University Solar Vehicle Team  - USA 

Persian Gazelle  -  Iran 

Phoenix Solar Car Team - Taiwan 

Queens University Solar Vehicle Team  -  Canada 

Solar Fern Racing  -  New Zealand 

Solar Team Amsterdam  -  Netherlands 

Solar Team Twente  -  Netherlands 

Southern Aurora  - Australia 

Stanford Solar Car Project  - USA 

Sun Speed  - France 

Sunstang Solar Car Project  -  Canada 

SURIA KAR 2 UTM  -  Malaysia 

Swisspirit  -  Switzerland 

TAFE SA Alternative Energy Vehicle Group  -  Australia 

Team JonaSun  -  Japan 

Team Sinag  -  Phillippines 

Team Solaris  -  India 

Techno Energie  -  Senegal 

Towards Tomorrow  -  Australia 

Toyko Salesian Polytech Solar Car Team   -  Japan 

Uchile-Conecta  -  Chile 

UCL (London)  -  UK 

Uludao University  -  Turkey 

Umicore Solar Team  -  Belgium 

University of Calgary Solar Team  -  Canada 

University of Michigan Solar Car Team  -  USA 

University of Waterloo Midnight Sun  -  Canada 

UNSW Solar Racing Team  -  Australia 

USB Solar - Venezuela 

Willetton ATP  -  Australia 














A dream can make all the difference under the sun - when a bunch of high school misfits in Hawaii, introduced by their new teacher (Halle Berry), attend a science fair in which they draw up inspiration to build their own solar car and win a trip to compete in the 1990 World Solar Challenge in Australia. One of my favourites NK










Aristotle Uni of Thessaloniki, Helios


Faculty of Engineering

Arizona Solar Racing Team - USA

Arizona Solar Racing Team

Ashiya University - Japan

Sky Ace TIGA

Solar Car Project

Auburn University

Sol of Auburn

Sol of Auburn

Aurora Team, Australia


Aurora Vehicle Association

Bochum Solar Car Team

Das SolarCar der Fachhochschule

California Poly S University

SLO Burn  Sidewinder

San Luis Obispo

Cambridge University

Eco Racing Team

Clarkson Uni Solar Car Team, USA

The Solar Knights

Delft University - Holland

NUNA I & II 2003

Dell Winston School

The Hunter

Solar Car Challenge

Desert Rose, Northern Territory Uni


Drexel SunDragon Home Page

Durham University

Solar Car Racing Team

École de technologie supérieure Quebec

Eclipse V (5)

Éclipse Vehicular Solaire 

École Polytechnique de Montréal


Eko-Auto  Poland


Electron Analytic Corporation

Dark Horse

EAC Skunkworks

George Washington University

George Washington Uni Solar Car

Georgia Institute of Technology

Solar Jackets

Solar Jackets

Heliodet, Germany


Heliodet, Solar Car Team

Helios - Lille, France

Hélios IV

Hautes Etudes d'Ingénieur

Heliox Solar Car Team


Dominic de Vries

Honda Car Company


Illinois State University

Surya, Ratha, Mercury

Illinois State University Team

Iowa State University


Team PrISUm

Jonasun  Japan


Solar Car Paviion

Kansas State University


Solar Car Racing Team

Los Altos Academy of Engineering

Los Altos Solar Car Team

Massachusetts Institute of Technology



McGill University Monteal, Canada


Team iSun

McMaster University


McMaster Uni Solar Car Project

Messiah College Grantham, Penns

Genesis II

Genesis II Solar Racing Team

Michigan State University


Solar Racing Team

Michigan Technological University

Solar Car Team

Minnesota S Uni-Mankato/Winona S Uni

Minnesota Solar Car Team

North Dakota State University

The Double Deuce

Sunsetters - Solar Race Team

Northwestern University


Northwestern University

Nuon Solar Team, Netherlands

Nuon 3

Het Nuon Solar Team

Osaka Sangyo University, Japan

OSU model S

Solar Car Team

Prairie View A&M University


Sun Panthers

Principia College

RA 6

Principia College Solar Car Team

Purdue University


Purdue University Solar Racing

Queen's University Canada

Radiance  Gemini

Queen's Solar Vehicle Team

Red River College 

Red River Raycer

Red River College Solar Car Team

Rice University

Rice University

Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

Rose-Hulman Solar Car Team

Southern Illinois Uni Edwardsville

Cougar Cruiser

Southern Illinois University

South Bank University, UK

Mad Dog

South Bank Mad Dog Team

South Dakota School Mines & Tech

Solar Motion

South Dakota Solar Motion Team

Southern Taiwan University Tech

Southern Taiwan Solar Team

Stanford University


Stanford Solar Car Project

Tamagawa University - Japan

Tamagawa Solar Challenge Project

Team Futura, Italy


Team Futura

Team Solaris

 Solaris 1 & 2

Dokuz Eylül & Ege University

Team SunLake - Japan

Phaethon model

Team SunLake TOYOBO

Texas A&M University

Columbia Sunraycer

Texas A&M Motorsports Team

The Power of One  - Toronto


The Xof1 solar car team

Tufts University


Nerd Girls

University of Alberta

University of Alberta Team

University of Arizona


Solar Racing Team

University of Calgary


UC Calgary Solar Car Team

University of California-Berkeley


California Calsol Team

University of Delhi

Project Solaris 

University of Kansas

Solution, CATalyst

KSU Solar Car Racing Team

University of Kentucky

Gato del Sol II

Solar Car Team

University of Massachusetts 

Spirit of Mass 413

Lowell Solar Racing Team

University of Michigan


University of Michigan

University of Minnesota

Borealis III

U of M Solar Vehicle Project

University of Missouri Columbia

Suntiger VI

The Mizzou Solar Car Project

University of Missouri Rolla

Solar Miner V

Solar Minor Car Team 

University of North Dakota

Subzero 3

Team SubZero

University of Ontario Institute of Tech

UOI Solar Vehicle Team

Uni of New South Wales SCR Team

UNSW Sunswift III

New South Wales SCR Team

University of Patras, Hermes

Solar Car Team

University of Pennsylvania


Penn Solar Racing

University of Queensland


Queensland Solar Team

University of South Australia


SA Solar Car Consortium

University of Texas at Austin

Solar Steer

Solar Vehicles Team

University of Texas at El Paso



University of Toronto

Blue Sky

Blue Sky Solar Racing

University of Toulouse


Heliotrope Solar Car Team

University of Utah 


Vehicle Design Team Utah

University of Virginia


UVa Solar Car Team

University of Waterloo

Midnight Sun VIII

Midnight Sun Solar Race Team

University of Western Ontario


Sunstang USP Solar Car Team

USP Solar Car Team

USP Solar Car Team

Western Michigan University

Sunseeker 05

W Michigan Solar Car Team

Yale University

The John Lee

Team Lux





Healthier alternative tastes for adventure capitalists


Solar Cola PET soft drink bottle trademark Middle East design


Solar Red | Solar Crush + | Solar Cola | Solar Citrus + | Solar +




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