World Solar Challenge drives innovation and visitation

It’s all systems go in Darwin this month as the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge (BWSC) cruises into town with a series of exciting and inspiring pre-Challenge events.

More than 1000 people making up 38 teams from around the world, along with hundreds of volunteers, have started to descend on Darwin in the lead up to the BWSC, which starts on Sunday, 22 October 2023, while public scrutineering starts today.

From scrutineering and networking to talks discussing the future of solar technology, there’s plenty for everyone to enjoy before cheering on the teams as they embark on the 3,000km journey from Darwin’s State Square to Adelaide. Their journey will see them travel through some of the Territory’s most iconic ancient landscapes, from Darwin’s stunning coastline to the rugged red terrain of Central Australia.

Locals and visitors will be able to watch solar cars being weighed, measured and checked for overall road readiness at the Prohelion Static Scrutineering at Darwin Convention Centre from 16-20 October. Carefully inspected by the BWSC Scientific Faculty, each vehicle will be tested to see if it meets the official competition regulations.

On 17 October there’s an Accelerating the Future Symposium at Hidden Valley Motorsport Complex, which will bring together experts from across the Territory and around the world to discuss the future of solar technology, transport and the circular economy.

Head to Hidden Valley on Saturday, 21 October to see the high-tech vehicles in action during Dynamic Scrutineering, which puts the teams from universities around the world through a series of exercises testing speed, stability and braking capability. The teams will also do a hot lap to determine their start positions the following day.

“The Bridgestone World Solar Challenge is the world’s greatest innovation and engineering challenge,” Event Director Chris Selwood said. “Not only is it an incredible story of human endeavour and scientific innovation; this workshop on wheels is the proving ground for a more sustainable driving future of electric and solar vehicles.

“Crossing a continent by the power of the sun really is the ultimate adventure. It provides an invaluable opportunity for students to passionately compete against teams from around the world, and it is an experience that stays with them for a lifetime.”

Teams will compete in one of three categories; Challenger Class, where the first team to Adelaide takes line honours; Cruiser Class, which features solar electric cars designed for practicality; and Adventure Class, a non-competitive experience. The Belgian Innoptus Solar Team, winner of the Challenger Class in 2019, will return this year to contest their title against 28 teams, while the Cruiser Class will see 10 teams from nine countries compete.

Visit for more information.