Bridgestone commits to solar race

Japan-headquartered Bridgestone has continued its tradition of sponsoring the World Solar Challenge.

Welcoming the announcement, South Australian Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, David Ridgway, highlighted how the friendly competition had a serious impact.

“For 32 years the BWSC has played a significant role in developing the brightest young minds from the world’s top institutions.”

Bridgestone have sponsored the event since 2013, which challenges teams to produce a vehicle that can run on solar power for 3,000 kms, from Darwin to Adelaide.

This year’s winner in the Challenger class was the Agoria Solar Team, from Belgium. The winners of the Cruiser class were Solar Team Eindhoven, from the Netherlands.

While the cars that make the journey are designed to maximise the energy that is channelled through the solar panels into the wheels, the Challenge provides a practical outlet, as Ridgway noted.

“A partnership like this, not only secures the future of the world’s largest, most respected solar challenge, it also provides a proving ground for renewable technology and sustainable innovation, both here in South Australia and around the world.

“The BWSC delivers millions of dollars into Australia’s visitor economy, with the 2017 event injecting more than $11.9 million and the equivalent of 102 full-time jobs,” said Ridgway.

The 10 year agreement allows the Challenge to continue for the foreseeable future, as event director, Chris Selwood outlined.

“It is incredibly exciting, as the world debates climate change and the best way forward, to know the BWSC can continue to be a catalyst for sustainable change in the way we will choose to travel in the future,” said Selwood.