The United Solar Challenge (USC) is the only competition in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) that is officially recognized by the International Solarcar Federation (ISF). The first event, the Abu Dhabi Solar Challenge, was held in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in January 2015, and will return to the UAE again.
While the USC seeks to encourage competition among engineering students, it is also aimed at providing a means to convert their knowledge into real world solutions that promote energy efficiency. It brings together students with diverse backgrounds from around the world and enables them to compete their hand-built solar powered cars in some of the most exciting destinations in the world. Aside from its broad mission of supporting and encouraging bright young minds to succeed in STEM fields related to energy efficiency and future transportation in multi-disciplined learning, the USC also aims to:
Encourage partnerships between international teams and institutions of higher learning in the USC host countries to facilitate knowledge transfer and foster collaboration to help them participate in other future ISF events.
Adopt vehicle design and sporting regulations that enable cars designed for different events and across multiple years to participate and compete fairly and safely.
Unite the solar car community by involving organizers, officials, scrutineers, judges and observers from across all ISF-recognized competitions to participate in running the event.
The next USC will be held in the UAE in 2023 with an exciting route that will traverse most of the Emirates. The event is comprised of scrutineering/qualifying followed by 6 days of on-road challenge as follows:
Check in and garage move in
USC Grand Prix/Qualifying (3 day track race)
Vehicles on public display
USC Road challenge
The official Rules and Regulations document may be requested by emailing competitions@GlobalEEE.org.
The USC comprises a series of stages between predetermined locations (Stage Points) following a specific Event Route. Each stage will begin with a Staged Start, where all solar cars are released from the same point. At the end of any Event Day in which an entry has not reached the predetermined Stage End Point within the allotted time, the team must then trailer to that Stage End Point. The team will begin the next morning in the start line with other competitors. Stages will also have mandatory Control Stops.
Vehicles designed to meet Bridgestone World Solar Challenge (BWSC) or American Solar Challenge (ASC) regulations will be allowed to compete. Prior to scrutineering teams must officially declare which of the regulations they designed for and the technical inspectors will scrutineer the vehicle accordingly. Energy related differences between the regulations, such as types of allowed solar cells, auxiliary power sources, etc. are defined specifically in the USC regulations. Vehicles that do not meet any of the aforementioned regulations may still participate provided they pass basic safety standards. However, they may not compete for the USC trophy. Unlike BWSC and ASC where entry classes are based on the number of vehicle occupants, the USC entries are the Fixed Distance Class and Open Class. Single and multiple occupant vehicles may register in either of the classes provided they meet the vehicle design regulations for their respective BWSC/ASC class.
Fixed Distance Class: The on-road route will include a daily fixed distance ranging between 200 km and 300 km which starts at a stage point and ends at a stage point. Fixed Distance Class vehicles must complete the daily distance in the allotted time.
Open Class: These teams will travel the same daily route, however, along the route, there will be a number of Turning Points (TP) at which the teams may make a turn and drive in the opposite direction to increase the distance travelled along the route. The teams must still drive the entire route and reach the end of day stage point in the daily allotted time. Where and when to make the intermediate turns is entirely up to each team, but each TP may not be used more than once on any day. Teams in this class are expected to complete well in excess of 3,000 km during USC 2022.
Teams for both classes will be ranked together by Official Distance travelled, and in case of a tie in distance, by Official Elapsed Time to complete that distance. The team with the longest Official Distance travelled will be declared the winner of the Event. Awards will be given for the top three Event finishers as well as top three Fixed Distance Class finishers.
The USC shall follow the ISF Recommended Procedures for Protests and Appeals document number ISF01-V1, first published in March 2015, with an appointed Chief Judge and independent Tribunal of Judges.
Registration is officially open and teams wishing to register should email competitions@GlobalEEE.org to request the registration form.
USC events offer grants in the form of reduction of registration fee, local logistics (accommodations, support vehicles), airfare, or shipping of car/equipment. Teams in need of financial support may apply for a grant once the registration form is completed. Grants are need-based and are evaluated on a first come basis and are subject to availability of funds.
Teams that participate in non-ISF recognized events held outside their country may not be given priority considertation for financial support. The grant application and list of ISF recognized events may be requested when emailing competitions@GlobalEEE.org to register.
Teams that participate in USC 2022 will receive ISF Championship points as follows:
- Top ten finishers: 10 pts for 1st place, 9 pts for 2nd place……. 1 pt for 10th place.
- Pole position determined by qualifiers after scrutineering: 1 point.
- ISF event participation: 1 point.
You may request the PDF document explaining the ISF Championship points system and the sample table for the pre-COVID two-year cycle by emailing the Middle East and Africa office of the International Solarcar Federation at email@example.com