The 2022 Sasol Solar Challenge (SSC) will make its eighth control-stop at Knysna High School ground on the 15th of September, after travelling through 16 towns from Johannesburg.
“Each control-stop has an optional loop of road, which teams can drive their solar cars around as many times as they like, racking up more kilometres, and each loop requires a five minute control-stop before completion,” said Robert Walker, Owner and Director of the Sasol Solar Challenge. “The mandatory 30-minute stop is an opportunity for teams to refresh, swap drivers, do repairs, and strategise. It will also be an opportunity for the community of Knysna to come out and support the teams before the event moves to other communities, and subsequently the finish line.”
The control-stop will incorporate a school activation programme where learners in the community will have an opportunity to engage with the solar car teams and view the solar cars. Some of the learners will be showcasing their sustainable solutions developed to address mobility challenges faced by the community.
“The school activation programme is an experiential platform to influence and inspire scholars across South Africa to pursue careers in STEM. The overall offering of the Sasol Solar Challenge is an extension of Sasol’s investment into the youth of South Africa. Through the Sasol Solar Challenge, Sasol is directly investing in the engineers, scientists and thought leaders of tomorrow,” said Nozipho Mbatha, Senior Manager: Group Brand and Sponsorships at Sasol.
The Sasol Solar Challenge takes place every two years, bringing together university and high school teams, and even private engineers who have manufactured fully functioning, roadworthy cars powered only by the sun. It runs on public roads, sharing space with trucks and regular traffic, and passes through multiple small towns.
Knysna Executive Mayor, Levael Davis said the town is excited and looking forward to hosting the Sasol Solar Challenge.
“We are thrilled to welcome the Sasol Solar Challenge. The event will expose school learners and the entire community of Knysna to new and interesting technologies,” said Davis. “It’s important for our community and the entire country to always look for innovative ways of harnessing the power of our planet in a sustainable and energy efficient way. The Sasol Solar Challenge is encouraging our youth to do just that. The event also stimulates an interest in STEM education amongst our learners, which will open doors to further training in the field of STEM.”
The 2022 route from Johannesburg to Cape Town will include five provinces, 14 towns and more than 20 communities. New towns include Brakpan, Trompsburg, Willowmore, Kirkwood, Jeffreys Bay, Riversdale and Caledon. The event is also bringing new local and international teams including those competing for the first time in South Africa and in a solar challenge.