Five days on Australian roads. A solar energy-driven 3000-kilometer car race. Close to 50 universities and colleges from around the world meet to compete. JU Solar Team is participating in the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge 2023 and the expectations are high.
In October next year, JU Solar Team will fly all the way to Australia to compete with their self-made solar car. Twenty-five students from Jönköping University work – in addition to their regular schoolwork – hard to realize their dream. The construction of the car with the solar-powered motor is ongoing in the workshop here at JTH, but the race will eventually take place in Darwin and finish 3000 kilometers away in Adelaide where the first one across the finish line is declared the winner. The race will take about five days and the team members who do not drive the solar car get to follow along in companion cars. A reconnaissance truck rides in front of the race car to – among other things – keep track of the road conditions, the opponents, and last but not least where the team will sleep for the night.
“We camp in Australia along the way,” says Josefine Johansson, a member of the marketing team. “We don’t sleep in hotels, but carry everything from food to tents and sleeping bags with us.”
However, there is a lot to be done before it is time to ship the car down. The project does not only involve students at JTH, as much of the work also consists of marketing, organizing events, and acquiring sponsors. Each person in the team is responsible for one area, whilst at the same time helping one another to solve other occurring problems.
“We celebrate every single win we make in the team. We are like a family,” says Caroline Fagerkvist, an engineer on the team.
It is certainly not the first year that the JU Solar Team competes in the competition and also delivers. In fact, they are the only Swedish team that has ever managed to reach the finish line. In 2017, the team fought its way to eighth place, thus beating top universities such as Stanford and MIT. Next year it will be exactly 10 years since they first participated in the competition and they have set their sights sky high.
“We’re going to win now!” Caroline says enthusiastically.
Learn more about their journey:
Facebook: JU Solar Team