Catching the Sun

25.10.2017 Members

Earlier in October, Covestro travelled to the Australian outback as a supporter and material provider for Team Sonnenwagen in the 2017 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge – a 3000km solar car race down the centre of Australia.

Approximately 40 teams from around the world took off from Darwin on Sunday 8 October, to race their 'home-made' vehicles through the Australian outback without using a drop of fuel.

Covestro has a long-standing partnership with the RWTH Aachen University – aligned on their commitment to sustainable innovation and technologies – and was beyond proud to support the young student engineers in Team Sonnenwagen from RWTH Aachen and Aachen University of Applied Sciences.

“We used this opportunity to test our new bio-based polyurethane materials under the harsh climate conditions prevailing along the race’s route: temperatures of up to 45 degrees Celsius, high UV radiation and a high air dust content are typical there in October", says Rebecca Lee. The bio-based material derives 70 per cent of its carbon content from biomass, providing a reduced carbon footprint and fulfilling Sonnenwagen’s vision for sustainable mobility.

Despite the worst weather conditions in the 30 years of the World Solar Challenge, the team never lost sight of their ultimate goal – to push the boundaries of innovative technologies and solar mobility. Driving through the breathtaking landscapes of the Australian outback served as a constant reminder of just how important alternative forms of transportation are in protecting natural environments.

They crossed the finish line in Adelaide in good spirits on Saturday moprning, after seven days on the road, celebrating their accomplishments in the tradition of the World Solar Challenge by jumping in the Three Rivers Fountain in Victoria Square.

Still full of passion, Team Sonnenwagen shared its experience at campus talks at Monash University in Melbourne and the University of New South Wales in Sydney, organised by Covestro to inspire the next generation to push the boundaries by answering the challenges of tomorrow.

Full of excitement: Team Sonnenwagen clocked a personal best at the time trials in Darwin, the day before the start of the race.

Pushing boundaries: the solar car soldiers on through dark skies and rain, the worst weather experienced in the race's 30-year history.

Proud of their accomplishments: Team Sonnenwagen at the finish line in Adelaide