From start to finish with the power of the sun – back to Europe with Gebrüder Weiss

From start to finish with the power of the sun – back to Europe with Gebrüder Weiss
Martin Fernandes (Country Manager Gebrüder Weiss in Australia, front left) and Sharon Young (Customer Service & Process Manager Gebrüder Weiss in Melbourne, front right), together with the aCentauri Solar Racing Team at the finish line in Adelaide. (Source: Gebrüder Weiss / Dan Schultz)

Adelaide / Zurich / Lauterach, October 30, 2023. On October 27, the innovative solar car of ETH Zurich’s aCentauri Solar Racing Team was driven across the finish line in Adelaide. In just six days, the students covered the distance of 3,000 km across the Australian outback using nothing but solar power. The Swiss team – supported by the international logistics company Gebrüder Weiss – ranked twelfth in the “Challenger” category. “The entire aCentauri Solar Racing Team is more than satisfied with this result,” commented team manager Alexandr Ebnöther. “With our Sun Challenger, we managed to brave the difficult conditions in the outback and prove that sustainable mobility is possible.”

On the 3,000 km route from Darwin to Adelaide, the students had to compete with 31 other teams in their category and to overcome numerous obstacles. On the very first day, the team struggled with a flat tire and with the technology of their solar car. For a short time, it looked as if the Swiss team would not stay in the race for long. A night shift by the engineers prevented the team from having to quit and brought the solar car back to a speed of up to 85 km/h. In this way, the students managed to cover an average of 500 km per day and came in twelfth at the finish line in Adelaide.

The team was welcomed by Martin Fernandes, Country Manager Gebrüder Weiss in Australia, and Sharon Young, Customer Service & Process Manager Gebrüder Weiss in Melbourne: “We were very impressed by the young researchers’ enthusiasm for alternative drive technologies. Solar mobility is capable of much more than is generally assumed. We are pleased to be the official logistics partner and sponsor of this project. We are happy about the great result and will continue to support aCentauri’s journey.”

The team of ETH Zurich would like to go back to Australia in two years’ time to compete in the race again. Aaron Griesser, expert in drive and control technology, evaluates the race from an engineer’s point of view: “We have learned a lot about our development in this race. Now we know that we still have potential in terms of efficiency and aerodynamics, and we will use that knowledge to build version 2.0 of our car. Our motivation for 2025 is huge, and we will do our best to advance our vision of an eco-friendly future.”

It is now time for the ETH Zurich team to start their homeward journey. Gebrüder Weiss will make sure that the innovative solar car including racing equipment returns safely to Technopark Zurich. The tailor-made logistics mix includes transport by sea freight, comprehensive customs clearance measures, and last-mile delivery by truck.

Source: Gebrüder Weiss