In 1987, the first World Solar Challenge invited bright young engineers and scientists from around the world to pursue the ideals of sustainable transport. The event posed the ultimate challenge: to design and build a car capable of traveling across the Australian Continent on the power of sunlight and prove it by undertaking the 3,000km journey in the spirit of friendly competition against others with the same goal.
Now on its 20th year, the 2007 World Solar Car Challenge will be held from October 21 to 28.
The World Solar Challenge motivates research and development into harnessing solar energy for future transport needs.
Competitors, driven by a motivation to win the greatest solar event in the world, can also rest easy in the knowledge that they are contributing towards a vital search for sustainable transport alternatives for future generations.
Danish-born adventurer and the first person to circumnavigate Australia in a 16-foot open boat, Hans Thostrup, created the World Solar Challenge. Larry Perkins helped Hans to drive the world's first solar car, the "Quiet Achiever", the 4052 kilometers between Sydney and Perth in 20 days. This ultimate energy saving journey was ten days faster than that by the first petrol engine car. With this the idea of starting the World Solar Challenge was born.
The first World Solar Challenge was staged in 1987.
1987 - GM’s Sunraycer wins the first the Solar Car Challenge with an average speed of 67 km/hr.
1990 - Improvements are significantly integrated in the entries as competitors return with strength of experience. The Biel team from a Swiss Engineering School wins the race. With a school winning such a prestigious event, the World Solar Challenge is known as "Brain Sport."
1993 - Honda breaks the 1987 GM Sunraycer when it traveled 803 kilometers in one day.
1996 - The goal of finishing the World Solar Challenge in four days is realized in 1996, when Honda repeated their performance with another stunning win, and a record average speed of 89.76 km/h.
1999 - 43 teams from 14 countries traverse the Australian continent, and the Australian "Aurora" team wins the event.
2001 - International Solar Energy Society World Congress starts supporting the event, with new records set. The year also saw the introduction of the "Demonstration Class" which is designed to showcase vehicles exhibiting practical technology that has evolved from the World Solar Challenge.
2007 - The Philippines makes it debut in the World Solar Challenge with its entry, SINAG.