Ardingly Solar is a collaborative project between two science renowned schools – Ardingly College and Ifield Community College – to bring new, fresh thinking to the age-old problem of vehicle pollution. Tackling pollution ‘one car at a time’, the students have developed a series of innovative solutions over the last decade. The Institute of the Motor Industry has supported Ardingly Ifield Solar throughout its developments, playing a pivotal role in the construction of each of the solar cars, as well as developing an electric vehicle extracurricular course for pupils that will be trialled at Ardingly College and Ifield Community College this September.

Solar Car TourHaving endured a year where much of their innovation could not be showcased, the Ardingly Ifield Solar team are now embarking on a mammoth road trip, from John O’Groats to Haywards Heath, from 2nd to 11th August. Centre stage will be ‘The Basking Beasty’ – a car powered by solar energy. As Tom Porter from Ifield Community College and one of the students involved in the project explained it’s a really important venture: “As a pupil this trip is important to me as I get to have a voice to show what can be done in solar energy transport. It’s exciting to know we are helping to build a better future”.

Under the guidance of MBE Dr Andrew Spiers, Ardingly Ifield Solar Car Project Manager, and with the help of volunteer companies, teachers and individuals including IMI regional member representatives, Douglas Wragg and Mike Reed, the students from Ardingly College and Ifield Community College had already made a name for themselves in the world of automotive innovation. Now they plan to go further with their road trip which will stop at sites of interest and those that have played a part in the manufacture and creation of this amazing and innovative car.

The IMI is supporting the Solar Car Challenge and will be using the road trip to raise money for its nominated charity, Ben, as Steve Scofield, Head of Business Development at the IMI explained: “There is no question that we need the greatest minds working on the best ideas to tackle the global pollution challenges and the Ardingly Ifield Solar team are playing no small part in using their imagination and ingenuity to show that solar power could be part of the answer.

“It’s hugely exciting to be involved in this latest project from the team and we really hope that by touring the UK their message about using solar power will reach a wider audience.  We are also delighted that we can use this event to help raise funds for automotive charity, Ben.”

To donate to Ben visit Ben – Motor and Allied Trades Benevolent Fund: Solar Car Challenge

Road Trip Stopping points

2nd August – John O’Groats – 9.00am

2nd August – Inverness – 1.45pm

Inverness castle, Inverness, IV23E

3rd August – Aberdeen – 3pm

Richard Thomson MSP

Aberdeen Energy Park, Claymore Dr, Bridge of Don, Aberdeen, AB23 8GX

4th August – Holyrood – 3.30pm

Canongate, Edinburgh, EH8 8DX

5th August – Durham University – 2.30pm

DUEM solar team & Flexible Solar

The Palatine Centre, Durham University, Stockton Road, Durham, DH1 3LE

6th August – York Shambles – 10.40am

York, YO1 7LX

6th August – Ben Home – 3.00pm

Brinklow Rd, Easenhall, Rugby, CV23 0JE

7th August – Warwick – 10:00 am

With Cambridge University at the British Museum EV show

British Motor Museum, Banbury Road, Gaydon, Lighthorne Heath, Warwick CV35 0BJ

8th August – Cambridge – 12:45pm

Engineering Department and Business Park

Trumpington St, Cambridge, CB21P

9th August – IMI HQ – 12.00pm

Fanshaws, Brickendon, Hertford, SG13 8PQ

10th August – Central London – 1.00pm

Ministry of Transport, Great Minster House, 33 Horseferry Rd, London, SW1P 4DR

11th August – McLaren – 11am

McLaren Technology Centre, Woking, GU21 4YH

11th August – Crawley Thales & Elekta – 3.00pm

Thales – Manor Royal, Crawley, RH109HA

Elekta – Linac House, Fleming Way, Crawley, RH10 9RR

11th August – Haywards Heath – 5.00pm

Ardingly College, College Rd, Ardingly, Haywards Heath, RH17 6SQ

To find out more about the Ardingly Solar Car Project visit www.ArdinglySolar.Com