The Sasol Solar Challenge is back with more teams, strategy and adventure

The Sasol Solar Challenge (SSC) is proud to announce the return of its seventh biennial challenge from the 9th to 16th September 2022.

“It should come as no surprise that the 2022 challenge is one that is highly anticipated,” said Robert Walker, director and owner of the SSC. “It’s great to see just how much this event continues to evolve with the help of so many communities, businesses, volunteers, partners and sponsors who continue to help the SSC team put on this amazing event.”

The 2022 SSC will be moving across more than 20 different towns, touching five provinces. Communities in these provinces will be witnessing solar-powered cars moving through their streets on the eight-day long challenge for the first time in almost four years.

For 2022, the challenge has an almost brand-new route with new towns, road and communities. This has been done to increase the impact which the event has on the communities which it passes through.

“We are expanding the reach of the event across the country to not only showcase the mind-blowing innovations and technologies developed by the teams, but also raise awareness on the use of renewable energy to save our country and the entire planet,” said Walker. “The SSC goal is to impact communities to develop and embrace renewable energy and the future of STEM.”

Walker said this year’s event is also aimed at encouraging the youth in pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering, and maths (STEM).

“One of the key objectives for the SSC is to attract young people to STEM-based studies at learning institutions, through hands-on learning and real-life applications from like-minded scholars from around the world, who will be racing in their towns.”

Sasol senior manager for group brand and sponsorships, Nozipho Mbatha echoed Walker and said, "The Sasol Solar Challenge demonstrates the value of science, technology, engineering and maths initiatives. It is  a showcase of where engineering and technology meet in real life.”

Mbatha added that, “the event creates a space for young South Africans to develop skills for careers of the future, bringing our purpose of innovating for a better world.”

The SSC is on its fourteenth year. It is a biennial competition that sees local and international solar-powered vehicles challenging each other to move as far as possible along a set route, using only the power of the sun and cutting-edge technology. It runs on public roads, sharing space with trucks and regular traffic, and passes through multiple small towns.

This year’s event is set to include secret routes and shorter loops. Teams will be forced to strategise to find information regarding routes, as it would be withheld until the night before they take on the road. There will be changes in landscape, with different mountain terrains and hills will be introduced.

“However, it’s always been a fundamental challenge to see who can get the most kilometers down to Cape Town,” said Walker.