Sun Trip 2018 Rules


This map allows to visualize the restricted geographical areas, gathers a maximum of information about the borders, and mentions some outstanding sites and contacts from Sun Trip’s fans who are likely to give a hand on the road.

Here you can find a synthesis of the rules applied to participants as per the Sun Trip 2018 Adventure Regulations for the greatest overland adventure in the world!

Participants must ride on a solar electric bicycle and charge their batteries using only solar energy. If participants recharge using other energy sources, they are automatically eliminated from the Solar challenge. Participants may carry a wall charger, but it will be sealed by the organizers to reserve its use for imperative need.

After the start proper (in Chamonix), there is no imposed route! Each adventurer decides in which countries they ride and the route will follow to Guangzhou! They must have all the appropriate visas before departure and must not go through some prohibited geographical zones defined by the organizers (as indicated on this map). Participants not respecting the exclusion zones will be eliminated immediately.

As with yacht races in high seas, the Sun Trip adventurers are not to be followed by support vehicles. Nevertheless, they can get help from people they meet on their way and even get spare parts sent to them. They all carry geolocated beacon for safety purposes and may send an emergency call if the situation warrants it. Participants are also subject to an obligation to assist to each other.

During the 2018 edition, the night riding ban will be effective consistently throughout the event from 9 pm to 7 am, local time. This night driving ban has been enforced since the very first edition, in an effort to make the roads safer for all. The organizers wishes to make sure that the adventurers rest properly and that moments that can be devoted to meeting locals or communicating on the adventure.

The first adventurer to reach the finish line having charged his batteries solely with solar energy will be pronounced the winner of the Solar Challenge. Through their performance, they will demonstrate the efficiency of mobility-applied renewable energy. They will become a global ambassador for clean energies. The Adventure Regulations further specify that participants must arrive in Guangzhou within 100 days in order to be considered finishers on the Sun Trip 2018.

The Sun Trip adventure brings various people together and we wish to underline work of the best communicator, be it on the website, on social media or in traditional media. This challenge comes in two versions: the people’s choice and the jury’s choice award. The Adventure Regulations further specify that participants are required to communicate regularly on their trip during the Sun Trip 2018 event.


Taking into account the experience of the Sun Trip 2013 & 2015, under the leadership of the Technical Director Guillaume Devot and with the involvement of The Sun Trip Alumni, find here an outline of our technical regulation 2018.


Dimensions: The width of the bike and trailer must not exceed 99 cm.

Features: Vehicles can count up to three wheels and be fitted with a trailer (maximum of two wheels). In regards to the transmission, the pedal must physically be connected to a wheel of the bicycle by means of a chain, belt, or a cardan shaft.

Fairing & Velomobiles: Participation of cycles with fairing and velomobiles is allowed for this third edition of the Sun Trip. However, in all cases the participant’s head must be apparent (not enclosed in a cockpit), in order to stay in line with the human dimension of the adventure. Suitable mirrors will also be required.

As organizers, we wish to emphasize that this year’s itinerary includes unpaved tracks that can be extremely difficult and chaotic. These portions of compulsory wild steppes should represent between 700 and 1000 km. Beyond these unpaved bits, over 500 km of the road is full of potholes. The decision to engage with a velomobile or any other type of aerodynamic profiling should be thought over carefully.

Accessories: Every bicycle must be fitted with a mirror and front and rear lights that can either be connected to the main battery or run on separate batteries. It will be mandatory to carry an emergency rear light running on separate batteries.


The vehicle may be equipped with one engine per person, which allows tandems to be fitted with two engines. To reduce the risk of fraud, note that “electronic clamping” will not be acceptable as a way to limit the maximum speed. The electric assistance may be triggered by a pedal sensor or a acceleration throttle, as desired.


Battery capacity should not exceed 1100 Wh and should compulsorily be equipped with a Battery Management System (BMS). The maximum nominal battery voltage is 48 V. Calculation of battery capacity will be based on the amperage and voltage values ​​of the component cells. Batteries must be adequately protected against weather, bumps and holes filled with a soft carrying case with proper foam or casing.


There must be at least a surface of 0,50 m² solar cells visible on the vehicle at all times. When the vehicle is moving, the solar cells surface shall not exceed 2,5 m² and 450 WP, the limit being applied being the first one reached.

The total solar cells surface carried on a cycle shall not exceed 4 m² and 900 WC.

For tandems, a 0.5 m² and 100 WC bonus is granted for both the maximum visible surface and the total panel surface.

Solar cells surface is measured from cell to cell, not counting the outer panel borders but including the gaps between cells. The solar panels shall not exceed the front structure of the vehicle by more than 50 cm.


Vehicles must be equipped with two power measurement tools such as a wattmeter (Cyclanalyst, Battman, model making wattmeter, etc.) that can measure solar output and daily power consumption. In addition to preventing fraud, this procedure will allow us to obtain educational statistics, useful for continuous improvement of solar bicycle technology and to better understand the degradation of the panels over time, depending on the type of panels, installation type and selected routes.


An emergency AC charger will be allowed for the participants. Its dimensions should be less than 25 x 15 x 10 cm . It will be rendered useless by sealing (the method being kept secret until the departure day). The use of emergency charger automatically disqualifies from the solar race and will be detrimental to the solar adventurer challenge.


Participants will be required to complete a detailed data sheet (logbook) two months before departure, containing specifications for the engine  (make, model, RPM/Volt, etc. ), batteries, panels and more general dimensions. This form must be returned to the organization by email and supported by photographic evidence.

In the days prior to departure , a check on the vehicle will be done by the technical team. This control may be renewed at any time on the course.

A formal policy will clearly define a range of penalties for infringement, and a jury will be in charge of applying them.

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