Durham gets best ever result in Bridgestone World Solar Challenge 2019

The Bridgestone World Solar Challenge – a 3022km race across central Australia, cruising at highway speeds using less power than a hairdryer; with over 50 teams from 24 countries competing it is easily the largest and most exciting Solar race in the world. We went out as a team of 16 engineers from Durham University to race our solar-powered race car that we’d been building for two years. Needless to say, we were all excited! The race itself began on the 13th of October, with all the solar cars setting off from Darwen Town Hall to begin the 3022km journey.

Figure The car making its way south from Darwin, NT

The rules of the race allow you to drive between 08:00 and 17:00 each day, meaning wherever you are at 17:00 is where you must stop for the night, in the middle of the Australian desert. Spending each night with nothing but flat desert for hundreds of miles, and billions of stars is a highlight of the trip!

Figure 2: A drone shot of one of our camp spots

We kept a steady 15th place throughout the race, making our way between the 9 control stops spread across the route. However, at the end of the penultimate day we made a pretty drastic discovery – our estimation for state of charge was completely off and had been for the entire race. While initially disheartening, we took it on the chin and geared up to take the final day by storm. With more than enough charge in the pack, we were able to drive at 80kph for pretty much the whole day, overtaking a Swiss team to take 14th place!

At 17:00 on Friday the 18th of October, we reached kilometre 2830 where we took this photo – just 180km shy of the finish line.

Figure 3: 2830km, the end of our race

This photo holds more emotion than I could possibly put into words, it’s the culmination of two years of hard-work and dedication from just a handful of brilliant young engineers. Despite not making the full distance, as the sun set over the horizon illuminating the array one last time, we were all smiling – proud of what we had achieved.

DUEM and Corbeau announce Sponsorship Partnership!

DUEM are delighted to announce a brand new sponsor of the project. Corbeau Seats Ltd., the first motorsport seat manufacturer in the world, are partnering with DUEM, providing their safety expertise across a number of areas to the team as they gear up to Australia in 2019. This includes their incredible lightweight harnesses which Corbeau are custom-designing for our solar car.

Steve Hannon, of Corbeau, said:

“Corbeau are proud to be a part of the DUEM solar car project, safety through innovation is our key ethos and we feel this ties in perfectly with the project. The team at DUEM are taking an innovative stance towards a potential future for the automotive industry. We are delighted to be working with them across our product range, developing custom solutions including our world-leading harnesses to aid the safety of the Solar Car, allowing innovations to move forwards.”

Corbeau Seats Ltd was the first motorsport seat manufacturer in the world. Founded in 1963 by original owner Colin Folwell, Colin found that standard road seats in his race car did not offer the support nor protection required by the tremendous speeds being produced by race cars at the time. He then developed the first ever race car seat in East Sussex, where Corbeau Seats still proudly produce road and race seats. 55 years on, Corbeau are still proud to be manufacturing motorsport, classic and road seats to high internal standards, ensuring they continue to keep drivers and passengers safe. In 1992 Corbeau became the first British manufacturer to acquire FIA homologation on our motorsport seats, further topped in 2016 with the introduction of the FIA 8862-2009, 10 year homologated, Predator seat.

DUEM at CarFest South

DUEM are delighted to announce that we will be attending this weekend’s CarFest South. Led by Chris Evans and his BBC Radio 2 team, the event combines cars, live music and family fun for a truly unforgettable weekend. The event raises money for BBC Children In Need. We are thrilled to be exhibiting here, in front of over 30,000 visitors a day!

We’d like to thank the organisers as well as our partners and sponsors for their vital and continued support. This will be a tremendous event for the whole team and we’d love to see you there from 24-26 August. Stay tuned across our Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and our DriveTribe pages for more news and updates as we build up to yet another milestone event.

Looking ahead to Goodwood 2018

A major part of DUEM’s mission is to promote our project and sustainability across the world, educating the public about climate change in the process. One of our major annual events is the Goodwood Festival of Speed. DUEM have attended this twice previously – in 2016 and 2017 – and are delighted to announce that they will be returning to exhibit at this year’s event.

From 12-15th July over a quarter of a million people will attend this major event, to not only see the latest and greatest supercars, but areas like Formula 1, pre-war cars and much more. The highlight will be the daily hillclimb where all of these categories of vehicles, and more, will race up the famous Goodwood hill to set new records.

This is a tremendous opportunity for DUEM to promote our project and partners on the world stage and we are delighted to be returning for the third time to this historic event. Check out the YouTube video below which gives you an insight into the event in 2017. We are super excited to be attending this year and stay tuned across our Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and our solar car tribe on DriveTribe for all the latest updates from the team.

DUEM’s Formula E Experience

This year DUEM celebrates its 16th anniversary and continues their marketing push across Europe. The team presented at Cleantech Innovate 2018 in front of 400 investors at the historic Faraday Lecture Theatre in London’s Royal Institution back in March of this year. We saw incredible interest in the car, its technology and future platform opportunities.

One of the key aspects of our project is promoting our technology to a global audience and it is one of the key reasons for sponsors linking with us. No better opportunity exists than with Formula E, the world’s premier electric vehicle racing championship. DUEM are regular viewers and followers of the series given the clear links between our two competitions. The series has gone from strength to strength and provides an ideal opportunity to promote the project on the world stage.

To that end, DUEM have now attended 4 Formula E-Prix’s in historic locations across Europe. The team first exhibited in Rome, meeting key individuals, before taking our current generation solar car – DUSC – to the Paris round. The team saw incredible interest at the Paris E-Village, in front of tens of thousands of spectators and visitors from around the world. This continued at the Berlin round where the team promoted the project, this time in the Start-Up Zone within the old Tempelhof Airport. Most recently, the team travelled to the Zurich round – the first race held in Switzerland in over 60 years.

Check out our highlights reel here from the Rome, Paris and Berlin E-Prix’s:

And if you’re still interested, feel free to flick through some of our pictures from the experience:

The next season of Formula E will be a step change with a brand new car platform, combined with more teams and new drivers. The future is certainly electric and DUEM are very excited to be a part of this journey, working with Formula E to promote sustainable innovation to the masses. Stay tuned for yet more exciting news on the horizon; 2018 is far from over yet for DUEM!

Cleantech Innovate 2018

We are delighted to announce that on 20th March 2018, DUEM will once again be representing sustainable innovation at Cleantech Innovate 2018. Cleantech Innovate provides developers with a golden chance to put their solutions in the limelight for potential funding. Investors hear 36 pitches from the most promising environmental businesses and get the market intelligence required to achieve game-changing outcomes from their investments.

After an intense competitive process, we are delighted to be one of these 36 to be considered by the hundreds of attendees from around the world. We look forward to promoting the project to them, showcasing our potential and past successes in 2017 in Australia as you will have seen from our video. This presentation will take place at the historic Faraday Theatre at the Royal Institution in London in front of over 350 investors, active funders, corporates, support agencies and the media.

Stay tuned across our social media channels as we gear up to this event. 2018 is going to be a big year for DUEM; this is just the beginning.

Moving forwards: COP23 and the World Alliance for Efficient Solutions

Having raced 3000km across Australia in the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge, DUEM has not been standing still. Whilst the car continues its shipping voyage from Australia back to the UK, the team have been hard at work on the new designs for 2019 as well as continuing to promote the car at world renowned locations.


You may remember that in 2016, the team took the car to Marrakech for the UN Climate Summit (COP22) and Formula E-Prix. This was an incredible opportunity from the team to promote the project in front of world leaders, CEOs and world press. To attend the UN Climate Summit once was incredible but DUEM were delighted to attend this prestigious event once more this year at COP23 in Bonn, Germany.


The team once again were amongst world leaders, businesses, press and attendees to the conference from around the world. This time, we were honoured to sign a major agreement within the UN summit itself. We are now an official founding member of the World Alliance for Efficient Solutions. This is a global alliance, promoting sustainable innovation around the world. We are honoured to be one of the solutions of this Alliance, and look forward to connecting with companies and institutions from around the world as we build the DUEM brand still further. This is something that puts us on the world stage once again. It is the next chapter in DUEM’s story.

Day 1 in Australia!

This is it. Today we began the biggest challenge for any solar powered car. To drive 3000km across the outback entirely on the power of the sun against over 40 teams from around the world. An early start for the team – 4am – was not most welcome but the car & team arrived in good time for the start line and parade of all the solar cars. Seeing our solar car in Parliament House was awesome but to see it alongside some of the most renowned teams in the competition was particularly enthralling. 

We qualified 31st and considered this a very strong position for the car and team. The start line beckoned and we were welcomed with great fanfare from the crowd – they love a British team! Setting off through the streets of Darwin was particularly surreal, with crowds lined up to watch all the extraordinary designs drive to Adelaide. We then proceeded to the Stuart Highway.

Our solar car performed incredibly well, driving the entire 322km on solar power without having to trailer the vehicle. Although our pace was affected by weather conditions (it even rained at one point), and some minor technical niggles, our driver changeovers were slick and we remained on the road for most of the day.

We reached the Katherine control stop in good time that afternoon and met the Flinders University team. They very kindly offered us use of the accommodation they had that night which happened to be a church in Katherine.

It was a fantastic day for the team, with spirits incredibly high; indeed, a lot of people became very emotional seeing this car on the highway after working on the design, manufacture and business sides of the project for many years. The team and car performed extraordinarily well today and we are delighted with the progress. Keep an eye on our social media as we update you on our progress as & when we get mobile signal. You can also track our car at https://www.worldsolarchallenge.org/dashboard/map.

Day 1 was a great start for the team and we look forward to building this momentum over the next few days.

DUEM Returns to Goodwood

Goodwood Logo DUEM

DUEM Returns to the Goodwood Festival of Speed

DUEM are delighted to announce that they will be exhibiting at the world-famous Goodwood Festival of Speed 2017 from 29th June – 2nd July. This is the world’s largest motoring event of its kind, bringing together world-leading manufacturers, celebrities and, of course, the famous hill climb to deliver a motoring extravaganza like no other.

DUEM are delighted to be returning to this event, following from a successful exhibition in 2016 with their previous solar car, DUSC2015. Whilst the team is hard at work on our latest solar car, DUSC, the team will be exhibiting a scale model of the car and promoting various breakthrough technologies developed by the team. Attendees have a fantastic opportunity to hear more about our 15-year heritage and our exciting future plans. It provides us, and our sponsors, an incredible marketing reach and we cannot wait to see what happens next. Stay tuned for more details & keep an eye on our Facebook, Twitter & Instagram pages for more information.

Discovery Museum Exhibition

DUEM Exhibits at the Discovery Museum

DUEM Exhibits DUSC2011 at the Discovery Museum

Whilst the team was hard at work in Durham on upgrades to our latest solar car, DUSC, DUEM have been exhibiting their previous generation solar car, DUSC2011, to visitors at the Discovery Museum in the heart of Newcastle. The museum is a hotspot for school tours and visits, giving students from a very young age an opportunity to see our innovation up close and to ask key team members about the car, the race and all things engineering.

DUSC2011 raced across Australia in, as the name suggests, the 2011 World Solar Challenge. After qualifying 3rd, the team completed a substantial proportion of the full 3000km distance, thanks to innovations including solar collectors – parabolic mirrors focusing the sun’s energy onto thin strips of high-efficiency solar cells, enabling higher energy collection in direct sunlight. 

This is a fantastic location and opportunity for the team to showcase our technology as well as inspire students to think differently about our planet and pursue STEM-focused careers. This is just the beginning for us. Stay tuned for an exciting summer of events and updates.