20 Years of UNSW Australia's Sunswift Solar Car Team: A New Moment in the Sun, but Where to Next?

Paper #:
  • 2015-01-0073

Published:
  • 2015-03-10
Citation:
Smith, H., Paterson, S., Mazzone, C., Diasinos, S. et al., "20 Years of UNSW Australia's Sunswift Solar Car Team: A New Moment in the Sun, but Where to Next?," SAE Technical Paper 2015-01-0073, 2015, https://doi.org/10.4271/2015-01-0073.
Pages:
14
Abstract:
The Sunswift Solar Car project has been running at UNSW Australia in Sydney for 20 years as of 2015. It is an entirely student-run endeavour which revolves around the design and development of a solar/electric vehicle nominally designed to compete in the World Solar Challenge rally from Darwin to Adelaide every 2 years. The student cohort is drawn from a range of schools, disciplines and backgrounds, and the team has been increasingly successful and high-profile particularly in its second decade. The excellent level of hands-on training that the project provides to students is not rewarded with academic credit yet many of the alumni credit the project with launching their careers and ambitions. The team's world record-breaking latest vehicle, eVe, is the fifth constructed and presents a radical departure from previous cars in that it carries a passenger in a conventional layout and is based around a road-going sports car. The team is currently working to meet road registration standards, making it the most complex vehicle yet. However, the issues of high costs, safety concerns, ensuring representative student participation, and student workload management present ongoing challenges which must be met if the project is to continue its run of success.
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