South Africa Hosts 4,000 km Solar Car Race


As fall weather descends on the northern hemisphere, over 40 solar-powered vehicles have just kicked off a 2-week race through South Africa.

The contest, called the South African Solar Challenge, tests the engineering, creativity, and endurance of sun ray-cers over demanding terrain. The main promoter of the race is the Advanced Energy Foundation, whose mission is to promote innovation in transportation and energy management technologies.

Over the full course, contestants will complete a 4,175 km loop from Johannesburg to Cape Town, then back along the southern coast, all the while grappling with hills, wind, and navigation.

2008 is a the first year of the challenge, which is planned to be run every two years. About 20 teams in the race are local with a roughly equal number being international teams. Beyond pure solar cars, other vehicle categories cover electrics, hybrids, and biofuel cars.

John Gartner
John Gartner is a writer and analyst, and has been covering computer, internet, green transportation, alternative energy, clean technology and corporate sustainability for over 20 years, working in both editorial and reporter roles across a broad number of magazines, blogs and websites.

Prior to Matter Network, John started’s Autopia auto blog in 2005, and worked as an editor and writer at Wired News, TechTV, TechWeb, and Windows Magazine. He has also written for numerous other publications including, Environment News Service, REVENUE Magazine and MIT Technology Review. John is also a contributing blogger to Marketing Shift, a well renowned blog on marketing and branding trends.
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