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October 4, 2010

Tokai University’s Solar Car Equipped with Sharp Solar Cells Wins Second Consecutive Victory in a Race in the Republic of South Africa

Press Release

The “Tokai Challenger,” a solar race car equipped with Sharp solar cells, has won the South African Solar Challenge 2010. This was the second consecutive victory for the Tokai University team, following their previous victory in 2008. The race event lasted for eleven days from September 22 to October 2 in the Republic of South Africa, with official support of Federation Internationale de l'Automobile. The “Tokai Challenger” solar car is equipped with Sharp compound solar cells developed for outer space applications. The cells have a cell conversion efficiency of 30%, the highest level in the world*1, with an output of 1.8kW.

The Tokai University team started the race from Pretoria, the capital city of the Republic of South Africa, passing through Cape Town and Durban before returning to Pretoria. They covered 4,061.8 kilometers at an average speed of 90.1 kilometers per hour. The Tokai Challenger crossed the finish line in the first place at 12:00 PM on October 2 (local time).

The Tokai University team and solar car equipped with Sharp’s compound solar cells has won two consecutive victories in the solar car race, following a victory in the Global Green Challenge, the world’s largest solar car race, held in Australia in October 2009.

The high performance and the potential of Sharp’s solar cell were proven by the amazing drive of the Tokai University team, including Kenjiro Shinozuka, Japan’s leading rally driver.

Overview of the South African Solar Challenge 2010

• Race duration: September 22, 2010 (Wed) to October 2, 2010 (Sat)
September 22 (Wed) Official car inspection
September 23 (Thurs) Start of the race
October 2 (Sat) Goal
• Race course: A 4,061.8-km loop in the Republic of South Africa
•Organizer: Advanced Energy Foundation (Section 21) and others
• Official web site:

Overview of the Tokai University Team

The team, named Tokai University Challenge Center Light Power Project, is led by Professor Hideki Kimura, who researches high-efficiency solar cars at the Tokai University School of Engineering’s Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering. The sixteen members of the team for this year’s race are mostly university students.

*1 As of October 4, 2010, for practical application solar cells. (Sharp survey)

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