Practicality Judging: The Challenge isn’t over yet!

19 - 10 - 2019

Still buzzing from yesterday’s finish, we started the very last part of our Bridgestone World Solar Challenge journey this morning. Because even though we had crossed the finish line, the Challenge wasn’t over yet for the cruiser teams.

Last year, we worked on building a car that is efficient and practical. We had already proven our efficiency during the 6-day drive from Darwin to Adelaide. Today, we had the opportunity to show the practicality of Stella Era during a 3-minute pitch in front of a jury panel, after which they were invited to take a seat and experience the comfort themselves.

Our team was the first on stage, followed by Sunswift and IVE Engineering accordingly. Team members Marije and Mick prepared a strong pitch on our car’s concept, explaining how Stella Era can get the maximum out of the Sun by using her autonomous functions. By autonomously driving towards the sunniest parking spots, Era can maximize the energy gain of her solar array. With all the energy she gains, she can provide other EV’s with solar energy just by plugging them into Era’s charging socket.

They also explained how Stella Era can power your daily life. You can watch Netflix on the interactive touchscreen… on solar energy, listen to sing-alongs through the bluetooth audio system…  on solar energy, work on that important assignment through the unlimited wifi hotspot… on solar energy. And during the rest of your day, your devices will be charged through wireless charging, usb-ports, or even a portable power bank… on solar energy. She gets the maximum out of the Sun!

After the pitch, the 10 members of the jury were invited into the car where they could experience the comfort of Stella Era and look at all the features we have been working so passionately on for the past year. We hoped we have convinced the jury of Stella Era’s comfort but we won’t know the score until tomorrow. We also enjoyed the pitches of the other teams, it seemed like all teams were well prepared and it was inspiring to see how other teams designed their practicality.

In the afternoon, we participated in the Smart Grid Pitch competition. This was not a compulsory part of the Challenge and it didn’t have anything to do with our practicality score, but it was a nice platform to share our ideas on smart grids. Mick and Coen presented a pitch on Stella Era, explaining why solar cars can be a part of the future of the electricity grid. Stella Era doesn’t necessarily make the current grid smarter, but she can serve as a smart grid herself, autonomously seeking the Sun and providing this clean energy to other EV’s.

Tomorrow, the award ceremony will take place and we will finally hear our final score. This score will determine who has become World Champion of the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge 2019! We are very excited for tomorrow, hopefully Solar Team Eindhoven can take home the trophy again remain World Champion of the Cruiser Class. Tonight, we are taking some time off the celebrate the real end of our challenge. Let’s celebrate the end of an amazing week, and moreover a wonderful, educational and challenging year.