2023-08-14 Kaohsiung students prepare to take solar car to Australia for race of a lifetime

Students at a Kaohsiung college are preparing to take their own solar car to Australia for the race of a lifetime. Their electric car Apollo No. 9 runs on sunshine, and charges its own battery when the sun is out. In Australia, it will take on a desert racetrack of more than 3,000 kilometers and race against competitors from all over the world. Let’s visit Kaohsiung University of Science and Technology to see the team put the finishing touches on their baby before its big trip.

The solar-powered electric car Apollo No. 9 has a top speed of 110 km/h. The solar battery on its roof automatically charges on a clear day.

The dozen-strong team carries out the final preparations with the utmost care, getting the vehicle ready to travel. They’re heading to Australia for a competition this October, a huge event in the global solar car development field.

Ai Ho-chang
NKUST professor
The difficulty level at the competition is world-renowned, because the course is more than 3,000 kilometers long, and it passes through desert areas that are completely uninhabited.

Chen Yu-an
NKUST Student
The driver will wear this safety helmet. We will install these metal anti-rolling-disks on the whole car, to minimize the risk of the driver getting injured if the car takes a crash or rolls over.

NKUST professor Ai Ho-chang has been teaching students how to research and develop solar vehicles for 25 years. He says the race in Australia won’t be a test of speed. It’s about endurance.

Ai Ho-chang
NKUST professor
You can’t charge the battery every day, so if the weather conditions are bad and there’s not enough sunshine coming down, how can you make the best use of your limited electricity to keep your vehicle moving?

Shen Kao-shu
NKUST student
The electric products are mainly the repair tools on the car, and some material backups for replacements.

The Apollo team are excited to head down under to represent Taiwan. That 3,000 kilometer track will be a huge test, putting the vehicle at the mercy of the weather and the elements.