Northern Territory Government Newsroom

Driving Tourism and Innovation: World’s Biggest Solar Challenge

Dozens of solar cars will begin their 3,000km journey from Darwin to Adelaide as part of the 2019 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge on Sunday 13 October.

This year’s challenge has attracted 45 teams from 22 countries with around 2,000 people including team members, officials and volunteers based in Darwin over the past month preparing for the race.

Held biannually since 1987, the race will start from State Square, Parliament House on Sunday at 8.30am, with teams leaving in succession until 9.30am.

The solar cars will travel through the centre of Australia along the Stuart Highway and Highway 1, before the official finish in Adelaide on Sunday 20 October with an awards ceremony.

Teams will check in at control stops along the race route including Katherine, Daly Waters, Tennant Creek, Barrow Creek, Alice Springs, Kulgera, Coober Pedy, Glendambo and Port Augusta.

In the week preceding the event, teams had to pass a series of practical safety and compliance tests to qualify for the start line.

This year there are three different vehicle classes including ‘Challenger’, ‘Cruiser’ and ‘Adventure’, with all teams striving to deliver the world’s most efficient solar electric car.

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Quotes from Minister for Tourism, Sport and Culture, Lauren Moss:

“The Territory Labor Government has significantly increased its investment into the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge as we know that high profile events increase visitation, support local businesses and ultimately strengthen our economy.

“We welcome teams, supporters and spectators from around Australia and the world to the Top End and wish competitors all the very best for the 2019 race, which will see the most advanced solar-powered electric vehicles travel from Darwin to Adelaide.

“The calibre of entries in this year’s Bridgestone World Solar Challenge is to be commended, and I congratulate all teams on their commitment to making more sustainable travel a reality.

“Investing in events that promote sustainability and innovation is vital, and we are thrilled to see so many teams entering solar-powered electric vehicles in the 15th staging of the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge.”

Quotes from Bridgestone World Solar Challenge Event Director, Chris Selwood AM:

“An incredible 45 teams from 22 countries are competing and collaborating to deliver a more sustainable way to travel, the 3,000km Stuart Highway between Darwin and Adelaide their proving ground. We wish all participants a safe journey as they chase the sun to Adelaide on this 3,000km, extreme endurance adventure - a once in a lifetime journey.”

Media contact: Lisa Sennett 0436 929 858