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Transportation Australia

World Solar Challenge About To Start 40

Posted by Soulskill
from the we-bid-you-fair-weather-and-nonviolent-kangaroo dept.
SustainableJeroen writes "On Sunday morning (Australian time), October 6th, 40 solar-powered vehicles from 24 countries will depart from Darwin and make their way south along the 3000km Stuart Highway towards Adelaide in the 2013 World Solar Challenge. About half of the vehicles compete in the Challenger class, the class which features what many people will recognize as typical solar racing cars: flat, UFO-like vehicles, built exclusively for efficiency and speed. For the first time, however, much more practical vehicles will race each other in the new Cruiser class. These vehicles will seat two, three of four people and be road legal. In both 2009 and 2011, the University of Michigan Solar Car Team finished third, Nuon Solar Team finished second and Tokai University finished first. The fastest vehicles will be expected to reach Adelaide on Thursday or Friday, depending on the weather."
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World Solar Challenge About To Start

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    If the sun were good for anything, somebody would have patented it already, instead it's just been uselessly shining for billions of years and doing nothing to make money.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Anyone who has ever driven any portion of this road knows they'll have plenty of sunshine, but a very challenging trip ahead. This trip is hard to make in a conventional vehicle. One thing about it, though, they won't have to worry about running out of petrol between Tenant Creek and Alice.

    • Yep, that's true. The mandatory control stops every few hundred kilometres are more for the chase vehicles than anything else. They need to refuel, whilst the solar car could go on.
    • by mathew42 (2475458)
      The Stuart Highway [wikipedia.org] is a reasonable stretch of road. The road has been fully sealed since the mid-1980s. It is predominately flat with few that require slowing down. The biggest danger is probably kangaroos or cattle.
  • by IonOtter (629215) on Friday October 04, 2013 @06:04PM (#45039939) Homepage

    It's about time we start to see PRACTICAL vehicles in this contest!

    I hope they do well!

  • I like their design this year.

    The fun part has been that many of the people involved have also been working on new technology for patents in solar, biofilm, energy storage.

    Heck, we're so hot here we light Teslas on fire - because we can!

    come on Seattle!

  • These vehicles will seat two, three of four people...

    I'm not quite sure how to parse that one and/or do the math. Three of four people!? Is that like some kind of musical chairs in the car at each stop and someone rides up on the roof with the solar panels? Sign me up! Sounds like fun as long as I'm the driver! :-)

  • I'm curious how well these cars would hold up against stored electric vehicles, or even bicycles.

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