This marks the end of a 20 year era in which first Nuon and then, from 2019, Vattenfall, was the main sponsor of the TU Delft solar racing team. At TU Delft’s first entry in the World Solar Challenge in 2001, Nuon sponsored the special high quality solar cells that were good enough to go into space to the tune of about EUR 1 million. Vattenfall's current sponsorship level has not been disclosed.
The sponsorship contract will continue this year so that the Vattenfall Solar Team can fulfil its plan to enter the biennial Bridgestone Solar Challenge in Australia in October. Their Nuna 11, nicknamed Phoenix, should make up for the tragedy of Nuna X which caught fire in the final stage of the race in 2019.
In addition, the team is looking for a new main sponsor for 2022. “We are in talks with a number of parties,” says Tanya Spee (Vattenfall Solar Team partnership & public relations). “We hope to find another sponsor in time.”
Vattenfall has decided on a new sponsorship strategy and is therefore leaving the solar car team, says Robert Portier (media relations Vattenfall). Instead of news about solar energy all year round, the company is now opting for short-term campaigns on a broader spectrum of topics. Wind at sea, global warming, district heating and CO2 free industry are topics that are hardly ever covered at the moment.
In addition, news about the solar car is mainly picked up by traditional media such as television and newspapers. With sponsored items about other CO2 free forms of energy, the energy company wants to target social media.
Vattenfall and the TU Delft solar car team will separate amicably, says Spee. In a friendly gesture, Vattenfall has promised to transfer all knowledge to the future sponsor in order to ensure a smooth transition.
In the joint press release, Martijn Hagens, CEO Vattenfall Nederland, states ‘I have always been proud of our relationship with the Vattenfall Solar Team and their performance. We have celebrated great success together and the team has inspired young and old to think about fossil-free life. Moreover, the collaboration has had a very positive impact on our brand. Our company is now taking a different path, but of course we will continue to follow the team with interest and wish them many more victories and successes. Hopefully we will be able to win one more victory together.”