The Australian outback and its scorching heat makes for a most unforgiving place, but one perfect to test the mettle of solar-powered cars and the teams responsible for building and operating them.
At a time when the need for sustainable and eco-friendly transportation has reached high urgency, the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge (BWSC) stands as a symbol of innovation and a fearless spirit. This biennial event, held in Australia, showcases the incredible potential of solar-powered vehicles and their role in shaping the future of mobility.
In 2023, the Bridgestone Corporation is celebrating a significant milestone as the title partner of the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge (BWSC) for the 10th year. Fittingly, this year's event also marks the largest number of Bridgestone-supported teams in the history of the competition.
Even more apt is that it also happens to be the 60th anniversary of Bridgestone Motorsport, giving the company an opportunity to highlight its ongoing commitment to foster sustainable motorsport on a global scale.
The BWSC has been running since 1987, aiming to contribute to the development of solar vehicles, support young engineers, and promote environmentally-friendly practices. As usual, participants in the 2023 event will be challenged to design, develop, and drive the most efficient vehicles possible, powered only by the sun and harnessed by photovoltaic panels.
Bridgestone’s World Solar Challenge continues to be a significant event in the history of the Japanese tyre manufacturer and serves as a platform to test their technology under some of the most unforgiving conditions in the world. This 16th edition of the challenge will take place from Sunday, 22nd October starting in Darwin before ending on October 29th in Adelaide.
Proud to bear the Jalur Gemilang representing Malaysia’s own intrepid spirit is the UiTM EcoPhoton Solar Racing Team. Their 2023 effort will be their 4th round of participation in the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge (BWSC), preceded by their entries in 2015, 2017 and 2019, this time fielding their latest iteration of Keris solar car, featuring a very aerodynamic bullet-like design and a three-wheel configuration. However, they are but one of many hopeful teams taking on the challenge.
In the 2023 BWSC, teams will embark on the arduous 3,000km journey under the punishing sun of the Aussie outback. What makes this year's event even more exciting is the introduction of ENLITEN technology in the Bridgestone-supplied tyres for the first time.
ENLITEN is the base for Bridgestone products that embody the concept of "New Premium" and its inclusion here will mark its debut in a competitive context for the first time, a merging of motorsport and sustainability-driven technology through cutting-edge tyre construction using proprietary lightweight composites to deliver greater energy efficiency and Low Rolling Resistance.
Tomoyuki Takagi, Executive Director Global Marketing Strategy at Bridgestone Corporation, reiterated the company's dedication to the BWSC as it transforms into a sustainable solutions company.
“We are delighted to see the return of this incredible event and are excited to continue expanding our involvement in the BWSC through supporting the participating teams. Through our widespread support, we are sharing in the excitement of sustainable mobility solutions, and supporting innovation developed through the BWSC,” he said.
The return of the BWSC in 2023 is especially significant as it is the first to follow after Bridgestone's extension of their decade-long title partnership, announced in 2019. Over these past 10 years, Bridgestone has significantly increased its team support, with 35 out of 43 teams now running Bridgestone tyre fitments.
For Bridgestone, with sustainability is at the core of its management and business principles, the BWSC serves as an ideal platform for the company to develop and showcase its tyres equipped with ENLITEN technology. As the automotive industry continues its electrification journey, the BWSC allows them to demonstrate its technological advancements to the world and reinforce its market position.
The BWSC just one of Bridgestone's sustainable global motorsport initiatives, which also includes the Bridgestone FIA ecoRally Cup—an international competition for road production vehicles with an electric drivetrain. Bridgestone's commitment to sustainable motorsport activities has even earned it the prestigious Three Star of Environmental Accreditation from the FIA, the world governing body of motorsport.
Again, the 16th edition of the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge will be taking place between the 22nd and 29th of October 2023 with teams bisecting the Australian countryside from Darwin to Adelaide on their 3,000km journey powered only by solar energy.