SYDNEY (Reuters) – The World Solar Challenge began on Sunday with 42 solar cars crossing Australia’s tropical north to its southern shores, a grueling 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 transcontinetal 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).
But reigning 2015 champions Nuon from Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands believes it has a good chance of retaining the prize