An established Solar Challenge partnership

The solar vehicle looks more impressive with each challenge. Image: AFKMLP Cargo

The Nuna12 picture in the image, here, is the descendent of Delft University of Technology’s original Nuna that won the sixth World Solar Challenge in Australia back in 2001. At the time, the university’s Solar Team was the first amateur team to win the race, outstripping 43 other competing teams. They had been inspired to enter the race after having watched a film called “Race the Sun,” and asked Wubbo Ockels, first Dutch astronaut and professor at the TU Delft, to be their team coach.
The World Solar Challenge was created soon after Danish inventor, Hans Tholstrup built the first solar-powered car and drove it across Australia in 1983. His invention was a reaction to the global oil crisis in 1973, which led to people seeking alternative and more sustainable energy sources. His car demonstrated the potential of solar energy. Delft University has been participating in the challenge over the years to contribute to sustainable innovation. “Today, solar racing continues to drive technological innovation and raise awareness for the environmental impact of fossil fuels. It challenges teams to develop and refine new technologies, contributing to advancements in sustainable technology that will eventually benefit commercial industries,” the release states.
Since Air France KLM Martinair Cargo also follows a sustainability strategy, it has partnered with the Dutch Brunel Solar Team in previous years, too. Now, the 2024 Sasol Solar Challenge is on in South Africa, and AFKLMP has again stepped up to assist the Brunel Solar Team with its logistics as it prepares to participate in the challenge 13-20SEP24. “As partners, we hope to help the team win this prestigious solar race for the fifth time!” the release states. “We will handle air transport and related logistics for the team’s solar vehicle, the Nuna 12s. To minimize environmental impact, AFKLMP will offset the fuel required to transport the Nuna 12s from Amsterdam to Johannesburg with SAF (an alternative aviation fuel), significantly reducing the carbon footprint of this journey.” GertJan Roelands, SVP Commercial at Air France KLM Martinair Cargo, stated: “Air France KLM Martinair Cargo is inspired by and aligned with the mission of the Sasol Solar Challenge. The airfreight industry faces the challenge of reducing its carbon footprint. Our goal is to lead innovation in this area by spearheading initiatives that involve all industry stakeholders.”

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