37 cars from 20 countries are taking part in the gruelling Veolia World Solar Challenge, a 3000kms (1877 miles) road race across Australia from Darwen in the north to Adelaide in the south. Complying with strict rules, the cars travel on public roads between the hours of 0800 and 1700 with registered teams of 2-4 drivers and checkpoints with compulsory stops. Batteries have to be fully charged at the start of the race and not re-charged during the course of the trip unless a time penalty is applied.
Designed to promote and encourage research into the solar industry and the development of sustainable technology for motoring applications, the cars are precision balanced for optimum performance and efficiency and each driver's support team is likely to make adjustments to the vehicles as the race progresses. Winning cars in recent years have regularly achieved speeds in excess of 110km/h (68mph) and average speeds have exceeded 60mph (100km/h).
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