Sasol Solar Car Challenge
1828, Hungarian, Ányos Jedlik invented built a electric motor that he designed for a car.
1832, Robert Anderson of Scotland invented a crude electric-powered carriage
1865-1881, Frenchmen Gaston Plante and Camille Faure Improved batteries, making the first commercial Electric Vehicles
1979, First built solar car, Alain Freeman
1980, Got it road registered
1983, Hans Tholstrup and Larry Perkins pioneered solar car racing, Perth to Sydney (Australia) in 1983
1985, First Solar Car demonstration and drag race in SA
1987, First Australian Race, World Solar Challenge
2003, Solar Car reaches 140km/h
2008, First Solar Car Challenge in SA
2012, Sasol become the first named sponsor of the South African event
People who believe in dreams
Sasol Solar Car Challenge 2018 is a challenge that will run from 22 September to 30 September 2018 on a 2000 km long route to be completed over 8-day stages.
The 2018 targeted participants include 25 cars (15 international and 10 SA teams)
SA teams : CUT, KZN, NMU, NWU, Stellenbosch, TUT, UCT, UJ, UP, VUT, WITS, etc.
International teams : Australian, Chinese, Chilean, Cyprus, Dutch, Egyptian, French, German, Hungarian, Indian, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Swiss, United Kingdom, USA.
The purpose of Solar Challenge is to stimulate research into, and development of, sustainable road transport and energy management / renewable energies utilisation.
The Challenge is primarily a design competition. CUT part in this is seen in its curriculum transformation. Their vision – vision 2020- which is dubbed enhancing the academic project was a Strategic Transformation and Educational Programs (STEPS) process where the focus was the revision of the instructional programs that were offered by CUT. During this CUT identified global crises, such as the energy and water global crises and designed and introduced an instructional program to be part of the solution. It was identified that there is an unavailability of human resource with required knowledge and skills that seemed to be the key reasons for poor dissemination of renewable energy technologies. In 2014 the developed Higher Certificate in Renewable Energy Technologies was implemented.
RGEMS – the research unit in evolvable and manumation systems at CUT and the unit that is in charge of the solar race car, has three main focus areas. One vision (Machine Vision; and Quality Systems), secondly Automation and Robotics and then the important Renewable Energy; and Power Management. The aim of the latter is to promote and undertake fundamental and applied research alongside pre-industrial development in the areas of energy technologies. We are engaged in cutting-edge fundamental and applied research underpinning sustainable energy technologies. Our activities are organized around a wide spectrum of mainstream and renewable energy technologies. Our mission is to address major scientific and technological challenges faced by the world in the 21st century and beyond in energy efficiency, emerging energy technologies and sustainability. We are also concerned with the social, economic and environmental impact of energy technologies.