Various Bridgestone team members travelled to the Sydney Dragway recently to support a group of talented students and their efforts to build a winning solar car for the 2015 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge.
Twenty students from Western Sydney University (WSU) have spent the past 18 months building their new solar car and on Monday 27th July it hit the track for its first test day.
As part of Bridgestone’s global sponsorship of the World Solar Challenge event, the WSU solar car will be running on Ecopia Ologic tyres and, the good news is, the tyres passed their first test with flying colours.
In fact, team manager AJ Verma believes the Ecopia Ologic tyres significantly improve their chances of winning this year’s challenge.
“Bridgestone’s tyre technology has really improved our chances of winning this year and their support for new technology and development, specifically student projects, has absolutely been amazing so far,” he said.
“We’re really pleased to have Bridgestone on board as a supporter for the 2015 solar car project. They are really big supporters of students finding solutions for tomorrow.”
The solar car built by WSU students for 2015 is made almost entirely of carbon fibre – making it almost half the weight of their inaugural vehicle for the 2013 challenge.
AJ said the Ecopia Ologic tyres are also less than half the weight of previous tyres they have used and early indications show their wear life will be far superior.
“One of the biggest factors we have to consider in our design is the rolling resistance of the vehicle – that takes away a significant amount of energy that we can use, since the amount of sun that you get in a day is limited,” he said. “With the Ecopia Ologic tyres we are actually able to significantly reduce the amount of energy we use while rolling at speed.”
Bridgestone engineers were on hand at the track day to assist with testing and advice and will provide ongoing support to the team in the lead up to the challenge.
Bridgestone’s support of this event is strongly aligned with our Tomorrow Matters initiative, which is aimed at finding new and better ways of using technology; encouraging our children to find solutions for tomorrow; and helping to ensure a safe and healthy environment for current and future generations.