DARWIN, AUSTRALIA (OCTOBER 8, 2017) (BRIDGESTONE WORLD SOLAR CHALLENGE) – The World Solar Challenge began on Sunday (October 8) with nearly 40 solar cars crossing Australia’s tropical north to its southern shores, a gruelling 3,000 km (1,864 mile) race through the outback.
The race from the northern city of Darwin to the southern city of Adelaide is expected to take a week for most cars, with speeds of 90-100 kmh (55-62 mph) powered only by the sun.
The fastest time was achieved by Japan’s Tokai University in 2009, completing the transcontinental race in only 29 hours and 49 minutes.
Belgian team Punch Powertrain started first on Sunday after recording a trial time of 2:03.8 for 2.97 km (1.78 miles), hitting an average speed of 83.4 kmh (51.5mph).
Teams come from countries including the United States, Japan, Germany, Chile, Netherlands, United Kingdom, Malaysia, Belgium, Sweden, Iran, South Korea, India, Hong Kong, South Africa, Poland, Thailand, Turkey, Canada, Taiwan and Australia.