Published: Tue, October 10, 2017
Medicine | By Brett Sutton

The World Solar Challenge begun yesterday in Australia

The World Solar Challenge begun yesterday in Australia

The 30th World Solar challenge has kicked off in Australia, with solar-powered cars from more than 30 countries around the world trying to race across 3,000km.

The World Solar Challenge race from Darwin to Adelaide is expected to take about a week for most of the 42 vehicles competing.

The World Solar Challenge, first run in 1987 and last held in 2015, began in a high-tech, futuristic flurry from Darwin's State Square.

"We knew our auto was good but we never expected pole because there are a lot of competitors over here, a lot of very fast looking cars", team manager Joachin Verheyen told reporters.

Members of the University of New South Wales Sunswift team work with their new vehicle "Violet" during testing in Penrith western Sydney, Australia, in this picture taken September 1, 2017 and distributed to Reuters September 20, 2017.

The team from Tokai University were just 2km behind and the two cars were well ahead of their nearest rivals. Nuon's auto is quite different in design to Team Tokai's vehicle, whose Tokai Challenger favors a more aerodynamic shape than the Nuna 9's slightly more boxy form.

Both teams are again in the hunt this year, with cars from the United States, Australia, Malaysia, India and South Africa among competitors up against them. The Cruiser class accounts for cars designed for practicality and acceptance in a given market segment.

Race Director, Chris Selwood shared that the goal of the race is not to develop fast technology that won't be able to reach the masses but to make energy-positive, sustainable cars and turn renewable energy into a reality.

Teams are allowed to store a small amount of energy but the majority of their power has to come from the sun and their vehicle's kinetic forces.

This year the cars will drive through some of the driest regions on Earth. The theme for the race, as suggested by its name, is to make cars that will race around powered by solar energy. Also, seven checkpoints are available along the route in case any maintenance or upgrade is needed.

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