The Vattenfall Solar Team will not be taking part in the American Solar Challenge this summer.
The team was hoping to compete in the race, which takes place in the US, for the first time, but the coronavirus has stopped it in its tracks. The coming period will be used to develop alternative scenarios to bring this project to a successful conclusion. "The decision was a difficult one, but ultimately inevitable considering the situation in Europe and the US," states team leader Niek Hogenboom. "Fortunately, our team has already shown multiple times that we are able to deal with setbacks."
The coronavirus has resulted in a number of major issues for the Vattenfall Solar Team, not least regarding how to transport the team and its car to the US. There are also doubts about whether the race will even go ahead. Although the American Solar Challenge is scheduled to be held in July, there is too much uncertainty to be able to continue making preparations.
This is all the more frustrating given that construction work on the car, dubbed the Nuna Phoenix, is proceeding smoothly despite the corona measures the team is having to follow. The team will start on the final construction phase next week, with all individual components being installed in the vehicle. The car will be ready to drive at the end of April – 100% on schedule. "We are extremely proud of the fact that despite all the setbacks, we have been able to build the Nuna Phoenix on schedule and entirely in line with US regulations," states team leader Niek Hogenboom. "For us, this was the greatest challenge we faced, and we have overcome it well."
The Vattenfall Solar Team is currently looking at various scenarios for the next few months. The team's aim now is to come up with various alternatives to the best of its ability, so that the team can respond quickly if the situation improves. "We can be sure that at some stage, the Nuna Phoenix will compete on the road," states team leader Niek. "The challenge is greater than ever, but we're definitely going to leave our mark."