Dutch team Nuon claims victory in Australia's solar-powered race


The first team to cross the finish line at the end of another epic, four-day, 3,000 km (1,800 mile) World Solar Challenge race – held in Australia every two years – was Nuon Solar Team, which belongs to the Delft University in the Netherlands.

The Bridgestone World Solar Challenge, which was first run in 1987, welcomes teams of clean energy enthusiasts to race their bespoke solar-powered vehicles across vast expanses of harsh terrain in the Australian outback.

Teams begin in Darwin and must navigate their way south to the finish line in Adelaide using nothing but solar power or kinetic energy as a fuel source. Each vehicle is permitted to include 5 kWh of battery stored power, but otherwise the teams – there were 45 participants this year – must rely solely on the sunshine.

Nuon took victory by just 11 seconds, holding off a challenge from fellow Dutch team, Solar Team Twente, to claim their sixth title. Nuon were the winners of the last World Solar Challenge in 2013.

Third place went to Japan’s Tokai University, driving the Tokai Challenger, with the University of Michigan’s Aurum car coming in fourth place.

The aim of the World Solar Challenge is to inspire scientists and researchers to push the boundaries on developing vehicles with improved performance using only solar power, with the ultimate goal being to commercialize some of the successful technology on show.