Toyota Fund for Europe

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Toyota Technology Challenge

IssueTechnical education
AimTo educate students about environmentally-friendly vehicle engineering and to encourage the consideration of engineering as a future career.
AreaUnited Kingdom


Since 2003


Toyota Motor UK (TMUK) and Rapid


€30.000 in 2007 by TFfE
All other costs were covered by TMUK and Rapid


“It’s difficult to win the regional final in this widely respected competition. To be first in the national final is absolutely immense.”
Chris Smith, Horndean Technology College

“Thanks for another great event. I know that our team thoroughly enjoyed the day and can’t wait to get back to work again in readiness for next year.”
Keith Hewitt, Art Leader for Creative Arts, Blessed Edward Oldcorne Catholic College.

“I’d like to express my thanks and pass on thanks from the Phoenix team for your excellent organisation of the Technology Challenge. We were all very impressed and of course extremely pleased to win.”
Nick Holme, Physics technician, Hutton Church or England Grammar School.

Toyota Technology Challenge

The first Toyota Technology Challenge was conducted in the 2003-2004 school year and was aimed at students attending schools near Toyota’s two plants and its headquarters in the UK. Students were invited to create a model vehicle that utilised an environmental power source. That event attracted 58 entries, far more than Toyota expected.

With the support of TFfE the competition was run again in the 2004-2005 school year and it has been run every year since. Interest in the challenge continues to grow.

Registration for the 2008-2009 Challenge started in July. The Challenge will culminate with the National Final to be held on Saturday 16 May 2009 at Toyota Manufacturing UK in Burnaston, Derbyshire.

There are two categories in the challenge, one for vehicles powered entirely by solar power, and the other for vehicles that are equipped with a microcontroller, enabling them to detect and avoid obstacles. Vehicles in the microcontroller category must also use an environmental power source and can utilise solar power if they wish.

The Challenge is open to all secondary schools based in the United Kingdom. The teams must consist of between three and five students and each school can enter one vehicle in each category.

There are three stages to the challenge and points are awarded for each part.

Stage 1 – Project folder
At this stage the team must produce a project folder detailing their approach to the Challenge. The folder specification requests information on the vehicle, including the environmental aspects, the design, background research, initial ideas and development, planning, vehicle testing and evaluation of the final choice of the design. The folders are scored against a set criteria that are documented in the handbook given to each team.The best folders in each of the seven regions are invited to the regional finals.

Stage 2 – Regional finals
This stage consists of four parts

Checking of the finished vehicle: The vehicle is judged against the set specification criteria.
Oral presentation: The team presents the detail of their work on the challenge.
Race: The team practise and race to obtain the fastest time.
Team identity: Marks are awarded for creativity and use of the team identity.

The winning team in each category is the team with the highest number of points across all parts of the challenge. The regional winner in each category progresses to the national final.

Winners of the regional heats receive £250.

Stage 3 – National final
The regional winners complete the same parts as they did in Stage 2. Each team is marked on their efforts and performance at the final.

The national winners in each category receive a £750 cash prize for their school and a seven day European trip for the team and a teacher. Toyota work in partnership with Rapid, a UK-based company. Rapid’s education division offers a comprehensive range of curriculum-based educational products and materials.


2003-2004: 58 registrations (estimated 1,740 students involved)
2004-2005: 485 registrations (estimated 14,550 students involved)
2005-2006: 343 registrations (estimated 15,000 students involved)
2006-2007: 553 registrations (estimated 16,590 students involved)
2007-2008: 389 registrations (estimated 15,000 students involved)
2008-2009: 550 registrations expected


Karen Bradley or Mandy Evans
Toyota Manufacturing UK Ltd
Derbyshire DE1 9TA
T: 01332 283602
T: 01332 283613