Green cars ready to race in 2nd Atacama solar challenge

Nov 07, 2012
Vehicles are presented ahead of the Atacama Solar Challenge car race in Santiago. Eighteen solar-powered cars from Chile, Argentina, Venezuela and India will race across 1,300 kilometers of Chile's uber-dry Atacama desert for this year's "Atacama Solar Challenge."

Eighteen solar-powered cars from Chile, Argentina, Venezuela and India will race across 1,300 kilometers of Chile's uber-dry Atacama desert for this year's "Atacama Solar Challenge."

The November 15-19 race is the latest installment of Latin America's first big competition, launched last year to encourage the development of low-cost environmentally-friendly vehicles.

Competing vehicles fall into two categories: cars powered exclusively by the sun's rays, designed by eight-person teams, and hybrid solar- and pedal-powered three-wheelers, mostly designed by university students.

Ten of the 12 cars developed by Chileans were put on display Wednesday in front of the presidential palace in downtown Santiago.

The University of Chile engineering department's offering, called Eolian, can reach speeds of up to 90 kilometers (56 miles) per hour, thanks to the improvements in the efficiency of the over earlier models, team member Wladimir Ovalle boasted to AFP.

But the car will have to beat the Intikalpa 2, from last year's winning team, from the University of La Serena. Their car—named using the Quechua word for ""—has a top speed of 120 kilometers (75 miles) an hour, according to team member Daniel Garrido.

Last year's race, held in October 2011, saw 30 teams from seven countries in Latin America participating. The teams traveled on a 1,060-kilometer course during three days of competition.

Explore further: Going nuts? Turkey looks to pistachios to heat new eco-city

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Japanese solar car leads race Down Under

Oct 26, 2009

Japan's Tokai Challenger was on Monday leading a solar car race across the harsh Australian Outback, having covered about half of the 3,000 kilometre (1,860 mile) desert course, officials said.

Recommended for you

Obama launches measures to support solar energy in US

Apr 17, 2014

The White House Thursday announced a series of measures aimed at increasing solar energy production in the United States, particularly by encouraging the installation of solar panels in public spaces.

Tailored approach key to cookstove uptake

Apr 17, 2014

Worldwide, programs aiming to give safe, efficient cooking stoves to people in developing countries haven't had complete success—and local research has looked into why.

User comments : 0

More news stories

Hackers of Oman news agency target Bouteflika

Hackers on Sunday targeted the website of Oman's official news agency, singling out and mocking Algeria's newly re-elected president Abdelaziz Bouteflika as a handicapped "dictator".

Ex-Apple chief plans mobile phone for India

Former Apple chief executive John Sculley, whose marketing skills helped bring the personal computer to desktops worldwide, says he plans to launch a mobile phone in India to exploit its still largely untapped ...