JU Solar Team goes for gold in World Solar Challenge

JU Solar Team in Australia.

JU Solar Team is in Australia to compete in the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge on 22-29 October.

JU Solar Team competes in the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge in Australia on 22-29 October. They have a record-fast car and goes for gold.

"We always aim for gold, but this time we believe in it," says Dag Raudberget, course teacher for the solar car project at Jönköping University (JU).


Jönköping Universitys solar car is a so-called bullet model with a built-in driver carbine.

The solar car project is given as four separate courses at Jönköping University (JU) where the students build a car powered by solar energy. They have now arrived at the final goal; to compete in the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge, which is usually described as the World Cup for solar cars. The race is just over 300 miles and crosses the Australian continent, from Darwin in the north to Adelaide in the south. Rikard Månson, team leader for this round of JU Solar Team, has a good feeling about the competition.

“When we have test driven the car, we have reached the speeds we want and think we need to be able to win the gold. But it is a competition, and we have to have luck on our side as well,” says Rikard Månsson.

"Have been waiting for this for 1.5 years"

Around 35 teams are participating in this year's edition of the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge. Dutch and Belgian teams are usually among the favourites which is also the case this year. The JU Solar Team's best result so far in the competition is eighth place in 2017. They expect to both improve that position and to leave the two other Swedish solar cars from Halmstad University and Chalmers far behind.

“I really hope we beat them, well, we will. We have been waiting for this for 1.5 years and our strategy is to have as high an average speed and drive as energy efficiently as possible. The battery must be at zero when we cross the finish line, otherwise we’ve been driving too slowly,” says Rikard Månson.

Have a lot of fun together

A strength that the 21 students in the JU Solar Team themselves emphasize is that they have a lot of fun together. They have developed a completely new solar car model, which is streamlined, has no driver's compartment and which runs on three wheels instead of four. It is called Axelight after the team's main sponsor Axelent and has a top speed of 170 km/h. They hope to maintain an average speed of 90 km/h during the race, which is 15-20 km/h more than before and should give great results, according to Dag Raudberget. He and Magnus Andersson are course teachers for the solar car courses conducted at the School of Engineering (JTH) at JU. The JU Solar Team also includes alumni and other staff from the School of Engineering (JTH). Among them is JTH's Managing Director and Dean Ingrid Wadskog, who is one of several who will serve the team with food.

In collaboration with the regional business community

“As usual, I am impressed that the students put so much time and energy into the solar car and that the end result is so good. It is nice that the JU Solar Team brings together students from our different schools and programmes at JU and that it is done in collaboration with the regional business community. I think it will go very well for this year’s team in the competition,” says Ingrid Wadskog.

"Fun to see the drive of the students"

ST Microelectronics is the platinum sponsor of this year's JU Solar Team and Hans-Åke Gustafsson, Project Manager SW Tools at the company, is impressed that this year’s students have come this far with their solar car.

“It seems very advanced in terms of both mechanics, electronics, and control system. It has been fun to meet the students and see their drive. They have high ambitions and I think they have good chances in the competition. I want to say that they will win, but I think that they will at least be among the top five teams,” says Hans-Åke Gustafsson.

JU Solar Team in Australia.

The solar car, named "Axelight" after the team's main sponsor Axelent, is five meters long, 1.2 meters high and weighs 140 kilograms.

On 20 October at 10.00 (Swedish time) a live broadcast with the JU Solar Team from Australia is held on the School of Engineering’s Linkedin account. You can find the broadcast here External link, opens in new window.

Read more about the JU Solar Team here External link, opens in new window.

Read more about the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge and follow the competition here External link, opens in new window.