back to article 2013 World Solar Challenge racers start the big reveal

In 2011, The Reg's Special Projects Bureau followed the World Solar Challenge through the dead heart of Australia. This year, we'll do it again. 2013's World Solar Challenge hits the road on October 6th and The Register's Vulture South team will hit the road too, tracking the racers from the top end through the never-never and …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Looking forward to it

    Especially since I live in South Australia. Hopefully no bushfires this time.

  2. Chris G Silver badge

    I noticed in the article that there seems to be two types of competitor in the competition. Those who are trying to make solar cars a reality now and those who are trying to win the race.

    That said Cambridge as one of the ones trying to win the race appear to have a reasonable grip on engineering and it's nice to see a bunch of students getting their hands dirty. My only criticism is I didn't see any suspension on the Cambridge car if not maybe next time they should include a geography student in the team. Australian Outback roads are not kind to unsprung cars a few miles and the thing will be a pile of nuts and bolts. Otherwise good job.

    1. an it guy

      The two types are commendable, and I want to see the 'realistic' cars have a good go at getting through it.

      Regarding suspension, ever ridden a road bike? suspension is removed in favour of speed, and you can run some road bikes over some rather large potholes, and still come off okay. Since suspension dampens the ride and removes energy, this is a problem for a race.

      Now, if they can use that suspension to convert it into energy, then they have a better set of shocks, and that would be interesting. if nothing else, it could power a fan for those inside of their plastic bubbles.

  3. Neoc


    "Netherlands to France in one day"? You only need to cut through Belgium to do that - along the short axis which is ~200km if memory serves. Should be able to do it in ~4 hours at most, assuming you don't get to use major roads or highways.

    1. Ralph B

      Re: WTF?

      It's possible in less than 90km according to my quick attempt in Google Maps. So, I think Stella should comfortably be able to achieve their goal. If not, I can suggest an alternative platform for next year.

      1. Ralph B

        Re: WTF?

        It's 79km if you take the coast road. (Beat that!)

  4. jake Silver badge


    I can fill my fuel tank in under ten minutes, and then travel another 350+ miles. These electric thingies just plain don't work in the real world in California,

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Whatever.

      "in the real world OR in California"


      1. jake Silver badge

        @ mutatedwombat (was: Re: Whatever.)

        That's not an "OR" statement. They do work in some places. For rich people. But they do not work in California, outside of niche markets.

        Is logic not your strong-point?

        1. phuzz Silver badge

          Re: @ mutatedwombat (was: Whatever.)

          (They were making the joke that California is not the real world.)

  5. Big-nosed Pengie

    Why do so many video makers think that horrible music actually adds anything to their video? Most of the time it simply makes them unwatchable.

  6. strum Silver badge


    >Stella's design goal – apart from winning the cruiser class in the challenge – is to be able to take a family from The Netherlands to France in one day.

    In other words - they plan to ignore Belgium.

  7. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Thumb Up

    The solar challenge has come a *long* way since its inception

    As I guess have electric cars.

  8. stu_san


    I understand why it's white - too danged hot in Oz. That said, it just doesn't seem right if the car's not in British Racing Green...

    Just sayin.

  9. Martin Budden

    Dear Special Projects Bureau,

    Are your going to take some better interwebs with you this time? Last time you had mucho troubles connecting while on the middle beach*.

    *For those who aren't aware, Australia has only two beaches: the one around the outside and the one in the middle.

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