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World Solar Challenge in Australia Underway

The World Solar Challenge Route

Twenty-one entries from 10 countries started the biennial World Solar Challenge on Sunday, a 3,021-kilometer (1,876-mile) race for solar-powered vehicles from Darwin in the north to Adelaide in the south.

The race will last between four and five days. Favored vehicles include the new car from the Dutch Nuon Solar team (winners in 2003 and 2001); the Sky Ace Tiga from Japan; and Australia’s Aurora entry.

The University of Michigan’s Momentum, winner of this year’s North American Solar Challenge (earlier post) is also competing in the WSC.

The cars, traveling only from 8 am to 5 pm daily, are expected to reach Adelaide late Wednesday or early Thursday. Nuon holds the record of 32 hours, 39 minutes of total race time.

A Greenfleet class (with 10 entries) of hybrids and alternative fuel vehicles is also running the course. The Greenfleet winner is determined by overall fuel economy, not speed.


  • Dynamic route map



Adding fuel economy to determine the winner in other motor sports would certainly add a new and interesting twist and raise much needed awareness.


most other motor sports are too regulated to really take advantage of real world technology. And they do already kinda-sorta have fuel economy built in to their in the better your fuel economy, the less time your in the pitstop losing position.


as in the better your fuel economy, the less time your in the pitstop losing position.

True, as long as the limiting factor is fuel and not tires or some other element that gets worn out/runs out. I have no idea what the limiting factor is in NASCAR or F1 racing.

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