Continuing 60 Years’ Commitment – Bridgestone Sponsors the World Solar Car Challenge (Hong Kong Team)

Bridgestone World Solar Challenge 2023

The year 2023 marks the 60th anniversary of Bridgestone’s motorsports activities and the 10th anniversary of supporting the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge (BWSC) as its title partner. The VTC Solar Car Team (SOPHIE) will participate in the competition, representing Hong Kong.

VTC Solar Car Team (Hong Kong)

Light Weight Body

SOPHIE 8 features carbon fibre composite and modular design in its body shell. It also incorporates customised motor system, self-developed maximum power point tracking and high gain DC-DC converter, and energy-saving rubber tires.

Developed by the VTC Solar Car Team over a year, the 8th generation of the solar-powered electric car, SOPHIE 8, adopts a streamlined modular design with a weight of 540kg and dimensions of 4.96m in length, 2m in width, and 1.17m in height. Its streamlined tail can be easily removed and replaced with other functional tails to meet the requirement of different situations. The body shell is made of lightweight but strong and rigid Carbon Fibre Reinforced Plastic (CFRP) Sandwich Panel and Aramid Honeycomb Core. It is also equipped with a solar array comprising hundreds of solar cells and a battery.

SOPHIE 8 will participate in the Cruiser Class of the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge 2023. The Cruiser Class was established in the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge 2013 to encourage the creation of solar cars designed for practicality and acceptance in a given market segment. Vehicles participating in the Cruiser Class are required to be energy efficient and practical to transport people from Darwin to Adelaide according to a given schedule. The solar-powered electric car participating in the Cruiser Class must have one driver and at least one passenger on board, use at least four tires, and have maximum dimensions of 5m in length, 2.2m in width, and a solar array area within 5 square meters.

Mr Andrew Yue, Deputy Managing Director of Tong Seng Company, congratulated SOPHIE on their participation in the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge 2023 saying “The success of Sophie is a collaborative Synergy between academic institutions and industry. We are so proud to be one of the partners supporting the SOPHIE VIII’s development.”

The first competition to apply the tire lightweight technology ENLITENto motorsport racing

Particularly, Bridgestone’s innovative tire lightweight technology called ‘ENLITEN’ will make its debut in the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge for the first time. The ENLITEN technology is a tire design innovation that significantly reduces the use of raw materials in tire manufacturing and reduces rolling resistance. By reducing resource consumption during tire production and making the tire lighter while lowering rolling resistance, it maximizes the vehicle’s fuel efficiency, performance, and environmental friendliness. The ENLITEN tireswill be provided to 35 teams including SNU SOLO. This marks a new milestone in Bridgestone’s motorsports history, combining motorsports with sustainability.

A 6-day, 7-night expedition spanning 3,000km from south to north across the Australian continent

The Bridgestone World Solar Challenge, the world’s largest solar-powered car racing competition, begins from the northernmost point of the Australian continent, Darwin, and stretches a whopping 3,000 kilometers to Adelaide in the south, all powered solely by solar energy. This six-day, seven-night expedition has been held every two years since its inaugural official competition in 1987. Bridgestone has been the title partner and sponsor of the event since 2013. The 2021 competition was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2023 racing marks its 16th edition. This year, 43 teams from around the globe will embark on this grand journey from October 22nd (Sunday) to the 29th. Among them, the SOPHIE 8 solar car from the Vocational Training Council (VTC) is the sole representative from Hong Kong.

Pride of Hong Kong

Promoting energy efficiency and crossing the Australian mainland with Hong Kong’s technology, Tong Seng Co., Ltd. looks forward to the good performance of VTC Solar Car Team in October and winning for Hong Kong!

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