Durham University chasing the sun with Bridgestone


• Students’ three-wheel catamaran to compete in Bridgestone World Solar Challenge 
• Delivering impressive efficiency, the car’s cruising consumption is just 1 kWh, equivalent to a conventional microwave. 
• Custom made Enliten tyres have been developed to answer efficiency challenges 

Bridgestone is driving Durham University towards a sun-chasing adventure in Australia, after developing custom made tyres for its World Solar Challenge.

Students have designed a three-wheeled asymmetrical catamaran-style car for the 3,000km journey from October 22 to October 29, and Bridgestone will kit their creation in its specially designed ENLITEN tyres.

The ‘challenger class’ car has been two years in development, with months of remote study and digital development taking place to firstly overcome the challenges of the global pandemic and eventually a sustainable vehicle with a cruising consumption of 1kWh.

Bridgestone’s ENLITEN tyre technology platform is seen as a crucial feature of the car, with its innovative approach to tyre development helping it go further. The combination of multiple cutting-edge technologies provides maximum safety and outstanding tyre performance for students, while improving the sustainability characteristics of the tyre. Additionally, ENLITEN makes the Bridgestone tyre portfolio more adaptable to the latest mobility evolution, making all Bridgestone tyres fully EV-ready.

Durham University’s creation features a 5kWh battery pack - enough to drive for 350km on a single charge - asymmetrical double wishbone suspension to achieve the ideal steering geometry and a micro-pyramid surface on the solar array to improve its efficiency.

Carbon fibre lightweight wheels have replaced previous aluminium versions, while an induction cooling feature helps regulate temperatures the long drive across Australia.

Bridgestone's involvement in the World Solar Challenge reflects the company's dedication to creating a more sustainable future, and its commitment to supporting the development of new technologies that will help to reduce its carbon footprint. For the competition, it will equip Durham University with Bridgestone tyres that make use of pioneering technologies capable of enhancing the performance of their solar powered vehicle. 

"We are proud to support the World Solar Challenge, and to be a part of the effort to drive innovation and sustainability in the transportation sector," said Andrea Manenti, Vice President, Bridgestone North. "Through our sponsorship and support of Durham University Solar Car, we aim to inspire and support the next generation of engineers and leaders, who will play a crucial role in shaping the future of sustainable mobility."

Media information:

For more information about this press release, or if you have any more questions, please call Ben Smallman at Ben Smallman PR on 07833 463195 or email ben@bensmallmanpr.com or helen.roe@bridgestone.eu

About Bridgestone in Europe, Middle East, India and Africa

Bridgestone in Europe, Middle East, India, and Africa (Bridgestone EMIA) is the regional Strategic Business Unit of Bridgestone Corporation, a global leader in tyres and sustainable mobility solutions.

Headquartered in Zaventem (Belgium), Bridgestone EMIA employs more than 20,000 people and conducts business in 40 countries across the region.

Bridgestone offers a diverse portfolio of premium tyres, tyre technologies and advanced mobility solutions. The company’s vision is to provide social and customer value as a sustainable solutions company. The Bridgestone E8 Commitment is a broad, global corporate commitment that clearly defines the value the company is promising to deliver to society, our customers and future generations in eight focus areas; Energy, Ecology, Efficiency, Extension, Economy, Emotion, Ease and Empowerment. These provide a compass to guide strategic priorities, decision making and actions throughout every area of the business.

For more information about Bridgestone in EMIA, please visit www.bridgestone-emia.com and press.bridgestone-emia.com. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter and LinkedIn.