Axalta Backs Innoptus Solar Team In 2023 World Solar Challenge

Axalta will continue its support of the Innoptus Solar Team in the 2023 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge, starting in Darwin on Sunday 22 October. For the past eight years, Axalta has been Silver Sponsor to the Innoptus Solar Team, made up of engineering students from the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium.

Their car ‘Infinite’ was painted at the Axalta refinish academy in Mechelen, Belgium, using Cromax and its Ultra performance energy system that employs Axalta Fast Cure Low energy technology. The team worked closely with Axalta technical experts in preparing the vehicle, performing sanding, masking, cleaning, demasking, and logo placement tasks.

“Every time we welcome the team to our facility, they are more forward-thinking than ever before,” said Koen Silverans, Axalta Refinish Academy Manager, Mechelen. “This year, it’s fair to say the team and Infinite are the epitome of innovation, sustainability, and energy saving – values we share and match when they walk through the doors of our Axalta Refinish Academy.”

Pauline Vanvuchelen, Business Relations for the Innoptus Solar team, said: “Having built a close partnership based on innovation, passion, and teamwork since 2015, we were confident Axalta could handle our most aerodynamic entry yet. Not only are the Axalta experts incredibly skilful, but their guidance and input are invaluable in creating a car that looks amazing, makes sustainable personal transport a reality, and is a contender to defend our 2019 World Championship title”.

Axalta said its sponsorship is dedicated to encouraging future generations of talent and promoting STEM subjects to upcoming students. The team’s engineering expertise was used to create seamless integration of solar panel energy and car aerodynamics, along with fin implementation to achieve significantly lower energy consumption and stability in crosswind conditions. The paint work was considered paramount as using fewer paint products lead to a lighter and more dynamic vehicle, making it easier for it to achieve its full speed potential.

The event attracts teams from around the world to the Australian outback, where they travel and push the limits of technological innovation in hand-built vehicles powered by the sun.

The challenge consists of a 3,000-kilometre drive from Darwin to Adelaide, setting up overnight camps in the desert, and passing through nine mandatory checkpoints along the way. It determines the success of each team’s engineering efforts and their ability to overcome the challenges of driving through harsh, unfamiliar environments.