21th November, 2023

Solaride II, powered by GEM motors in-wheel drive, made it through the Australian outback, completing the 3.000 km journey from Darwin to Adelaide in a week, and winning 3rd place in the Cruiser Cup of the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge. To win the competition solar electric cars must complete the journey within time windows and as energy efficiently as possible. All Cruisers were later judged by an expert panel to evaluate the market potential of each solar electric car. The focus was on assessing characteristics such as: design innovation; environmental impact, ease of access; driver and passenger comfort; controls; features and style.

Bridgestone World Solar Challenge brings together students, top universities and companies from all over the world, with nearly 15 million spectators following their Australian adventures. The Solaride II, which entered the competition for the first time, was created by students of Estonia. The project started in 2020 on the initiative of two students from the university of Tartu with a goal to build the first solar car in the Baltics. Today this is an interdisciplinary education and cooperation project with students from all over Estonia whose main focus is the development of future talents and the popularization of STEM education.

Solaride II is essentially an electric car that uses partly solar energy to drive. The solar energy comes from solar panels mounted on the body panels of the car. The energy is stored in battery modules built into the floor of the car. The body of Solaride II is made of carbon fiber-reinforced plastic and the tube frame from advanced high strength steel. To optimize energy efficiency, its creators developed an optimal speed controller that together with highly efficient GEM in-wheel motor with integrated motor controller provide optimized cruising of the vehicle. Solaride II features a battery pack designed and built from scratch by engineering team. The vehicle has a max speed of 100km/h and drive range of around 1200 km. This is achieved with the aid of the 42-kWh lithium-ion battery and around 4 m2 of solar panels on the car.

“It’s been a real pleasure teaming up with GEM Motors. They’ve made everything super easy for us, from setting up the motors to getting them up and running smoothly. Anytime we had questions, they were right there with the answers, quick and helpful. Using their motors was simple, and the motors played a big role in our success,” stated team lead about collaboration with GEM motors.