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2016 Sasol Solar Challenge (zingBug)

The Sasol Solar Challenge  (http://www.solarchallenge.org.za)  is a biennial 8 day challenge over 2 000 km across South Africa starting in Pretoria on 24 September and ending in Cape Town on 1 October 2016.  zingBug is participating with generous sponsorship received from Global Cleantech Innovation Program (GCIP South Africa), UNIDO Low Carbon Transport Project (LCTP) and the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA).

The main competition is for solar cars and typically attracts teams from higher education institutions – including 6 international entries. The 'Sustainability fleet' is aimed at promoting alternative technologies and vehicles are allowed to charge along the way – zingBug fits this category.  

The solar challenge is a unique opportunity to create brand awareness and anounce ourselves to the market.  

The high-level route map is depicted below:

Our objective for this year is simply to complete the challenge.  It would also be great to use solar energy as far as possible to charge along the way.   During interactions with fellow GCIP South Africa participants we realised that some of their inventions could actually assist zingBug to cross the line.   Co-operation with entrepreneurs such as Warrick & Magriet Leaper, Andre Nel and Andre Reyneke was thus initiated.

While the solar challenge a critical and very serious business activity we also want to have fun, do things differently and spread the message of green living. Therefore we invited solar cooking entrepreneur Crosby Menzies on-board to cook our meals using solar energy.

zingBug's Solar Challenge Team

Our eclectic crew of cleantech entrepreneurs will travel with a solar cooker and journalist as follows:




ZingCo electric vehicle

zingBug converted electric Beetle (challenge entry)

All logistics

Santa Scheepers (Team leader)

Eric Selala (Driver)

Shiela Ngobeni

Sfiso / Wethu


Innovative air energy storage system – used in mobile charge station

(If ready in time)

Warwick Leaper

Magriet Leaper

MISER (Ducere)


Test possible hydraulic hybrid to improve zingBug’s performance

(If ready in time)

Ryan Grant

Norman Grant (Not travelling)


Provide trailer based solar system including mobile charge station as well as cutting edge telemetry and batteries

Wikus du Plessis

Andre Nel (Not travelling)

Sunfire Solutions

Solar cooker – prepare breakfeast and lunch using sun energy

Crosby Menzies (Activist / Driver) Mashca Taylor (Chef)


MCR Communicate

Full-time jornalist travelling with the team

Rehann Coetzee


The zingBug team's participation in the challenge is generously sponsored by: