Solar challenge rolls at driest desert

Last updated 11:53 16/11/2012
Solar Car

The Atacama Solar Challenge winning car in 2011.

Relevant offers


Cars losing their cool in Wellington as road rage drives people to trains and buses Electric motorbike shows petrolheads the future Test-driving fans overwhelm Ferrari's hometown Police clampdown with 4kmh speed threshold in force More electric car charging stations on the cards for Wellington region Ford Kuga Ambiente FWD 1.5 is a goer Timing perfect for arrival of new medium-sized Mercedes-Benz SUV Heidi Hetzer's wild worldwide car adventure reaches Miami Shelby Mustang replica build license granted Nobody drives Ford sedan through fake city

The second annual Solar Challenge has begun in Chile's Atacama desert, where 15 solar-powered cars rolled out of an old salt mine.

The solar-powered prototypes will travel more than 1300km through the world's driest desert in the four-day, multinational race.

There are two categories: cars powered only by solar energy, and three-wheeled models that get a little help from pedals pushed by the drivers themselves.

The cars had to be built for less than US$7000 (NZ$8400), forcing their makers to be creative more than wealthy. Most of the teams represent university engineering departments.

The big finish comes Monday, and the winners get prizes of US$30,000 (NZ$36,000) in the solar category and US$9000 (NZ$10,800) in the hybrid category.

Ad Feedback

- AP

Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content