Passion for Bridgestone World Solar Challenge (BWSC)

Crazy dreams turn into reality


Shane Jacobson

Bridgestone Ambassador

What fascinates/excites you about the BWSC...

In all honesty, one of the things that excites me, I know it may sound corny, but as a parent, is how young these students are, and how dedicated they are to a challenge. They dedicate all this time, some actually stop their studies, yet their primary focus is not to get a better job or more money.
Another is the camaraderie of the teams, which becomes really evident at the end when they cross the finish line. And again, almost the parent in you says, “This is an experience that they’ll remember for the rest of their lives.”
Their efforts are wonderful, and to think that out of all that comes technology and advancements in sustainability.

Sport makes people excited, creates great team work, and people get an experience if they play on a sporting team, but in the BWSC, at the end of that, the net result is not only a trophy, but making something better for the planet. These young students do this for no money, back each other up, and out of that comes technology.

What do you see for the BWSC in 10 years from now...

Quite often in TV in Australia, they do a story “where are they now.” In 10 years’ time, South Australia will potentially have a lot of its power problems solved, and with all these amazing solutions to battery power, I think the question would be “where did all these ideas come from.” I guarantee there are going to be people on it from the BWSC. It just makes sense to me that they are going to want to keep exploring the technology.
To a lot of people, currently the idea of sustainability or power storage technology seems a bit “uncool.” But when they experience the BWSC, they’re part of something amazing, and it makes them feel like they’re part of developing incredible technology. Also, to know that Bridgestone, a large company backs the event and truly believe in them, all of these factors make them feel validated. That it is worth the effort. This would excite and motivate them to continue to try to find better solutions in sustainable mobility.

The idea of electric cars on the road 10 years ago felt like some kind of silly story, a Hollywood movie. And yet now, this year in particular, with electric cars on the road and large motor companies announcing that their future focus will be electric cars, this crazy dream has turned to reality that’s actually affordable.
When it comes time to talk about “how do we do this,” “who should we look to,” it is going to be these students. That’s just amazing. 10 years ago that wouldn’t be the case - the students that did this 10 years ago probably went off to other areas because this wasn’t a growth market. But now we are more than ever at the start of a revolution of electrics. All of those students right now will be the leaders in that knowledge. We are standing amongst, without a doubt, some of the people that are going to solve sustainability, as far as putting cars on the road that no longer have an impact on the planet. We are standing with the people that are going to make that happen. And the people that the motoring world are going to look to.