Ensuring sustainable mobility through innovation, while not sacrificing other areas of performance is at the heart of Michelin’s mission globally. Having designed their first dedicated solar car tyre – the MICHELIN Radial – 17 years ago, Michelin has always been at the forefront of innovation in this area.
The MICHELIN Total Performance strategy is what drives Michelin research and development. It requires their engineers to work simultaneously on improving performance factors widely considered to be irreconcilable, and being able to reconcile these thanks to Michelin's leading technologies. The result of this is tyres that are safe, long lasting and – of particular importance to the World Solar Challenge teams – have very low rolling resistance.
Inaugurated in 1987 with pioneer sponsor, the South Australian Tourism Commission, the World Solar Challenge continues to showcase the development of advanced automotive technology and promote alternatives to conventional vehicle engines.
Today, while solar cars test the ultimate boundaries of energy efficiency, they also provide incredible insights into the capabilities of everyday vehicle technology. These innovations are at the heart of all electric cars, whether that power comes from hydrogen fuel cells, hybrid engines or even fully-electric commuter cars that draw power from solar cells on the garage roof – they all use the technology that is continually honed to perfection in the World Solar Challenge.
Utilising no more than six square metres of solar panels, some of the world’s brightest young minds are on track to develop the most efficient electric vehicles possible. And every two years, teams from leading international universities and technical institutes, together with private entrepreneurs gather Down Under to test and promote the ultimate synergy of nature, motion and innovation.
For more information on the World Solar Challenge, please visit: www.worldsolarchallenge.org