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Stunning solar cars around the world

Last updated on: January 25, 2012 16:16 IST

Stunning solar cars around the world

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Solar-powered cars have ushered in a revolution in the transport sector. Several companies offer technical and financial support to institutes and teams developing cost effective and eco-friendly cars worldwide.

Solar car races too have become quite famous. The two most notable solar car races are the World Solar Challenge and the North American Solar Challenge.

The fastest solar car, Sunswift set a record of 88.8 kilometres per hour (55.2 mph) in January 2011.

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For Rediff Realtime news on solar cars, click here


Image: A man looks at a solar car during a promotional launch of the Atacama Solar Race 2012 in Santiago.
Photographs: Ivan Alvarado/Reuters.
Tags: , Sunswift

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A racer prepares to participate in a promotional launch of the Atacama Solar Race 2012 in Santiago.

Several solar cars from Latin America participated in the race at the Atacama desert, passing through Antofagasta, Calama and Iquique city, crossing a distance of around 1060 km (658 miles).

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Image: A racer Atacama Solar Race 2012.
Photographs: Ivan Alvarado/Reuters.

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A spectator looks on during a promotional launch of the Atacama Solar Race 2012 in Santiago.

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Image: Atacama Solar Race.
Photographs: Ivan Alvarado/Reuters.
Tags: , Santiago

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The sixth annual Alternative Transportation Expo and Conference (AltCar) in Santa Monica, California showcased alternative technology vehicles, alternative transportation, urban planning, energy efficiency and carbon footprint reduction options.

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Image: A solar panel is seen on the roof of a Fisker Karma luxury plug-in hybrid car.
Photographs: Lucy Nicholson/Reuters.

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University of Chile Solar Car team members push their solar car Eolian in the Atacama desert during a solar car race in the northern Antofagasta city.

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Image: Solar car Eolian.
Photographs: Lucy Nicholson/Reuters.

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The car's body is made of a lightweight carbon fibre found in current F1 car models and with improved design features such as new generation sun power cells and a sleeker, more manoeuvrable and aerodynamic design.

The road show is aimed at promoting the use of solar energy and preparing the team for the 2011 World Solar Car Challenge in Australia.

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Image: Sikat is driven along a busy street in Manila.
Photographs: Romeo Ranoco/Reuters.
Tags: , Australia

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The 470-pound, three-foot-tall vehicle, is powered entirely by solar energy and is equipped with 893 solar cells and 26 lithium ion batteries.

It can achieve a top speed of 75 mph and travel 300 miles on sunny days. Da Luz, a Toronto resident has driven the car more than 14,000 miles through the United States and Canada, including a journey to the Arctic Circle.

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Image: Marcelo da Luz drives his solar car by the Southernmost Point in the Continental U.S. marker in Key West, Florida.
Photographs: Romeo Ranoco/Reuters.
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German Chancellor Angela Merkel (C) looks at a solar car during the dedication of the new Volkswagen Group Automotive Innovation Laboratory at Stanford University on her visit to the campus in Palo Alto, California .

Merkel will meet with business people and academia through out her visit to northern California.

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Image: German Chancellor Angela Merkel (C) looks at a solar car.
Photographs: Romeo Ranoco/Reuters.
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Amateur inventor Chen Shungui, 54, drives his homemade solar-powered electric car, which he built in 2008 and can reach a speed of up to 45 kph, on a street in Jingjiang, Jiangsu province.

Chen took 13 months and 130,000 yuan ($19,485) to build the car and recently completed his second solar-powered electric car. The characters on the car read "solar car".

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Image: Homemade solar-powered electric car.
Photographs: Romeo Ranoco/Reuters.
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A racer prepares to participate in a promotional launch of the Atacama Solar Race 2012 in Santiago.

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Image: A racer in Atacama Solar Race 2012 in Santiago.
Photographs: Ivan Alvarado/Reuters.
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University of Michigan's solar car Continuum driver Brooke Bailey smiles after winning the North American Solar Car Challenge in Calgary.

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Image: Solar car Continuum.
Photographs: Todd Korol/Reuters.
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Students from the Missouri University of Science and Technology carry the body of their solar car to the start line during the last day of the North American Solar Car Challenge.

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Image: North American Solar Car Challenge.
Photographs: Todd Korol/Reuters.
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Students from the University of Michigan run to the finish line with their solar car to win the North American Solar Car Challenge in Calgary.

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Image: North American Solar Car Challenge in Calgary.
Photographs: Todd Korol/Reuters.
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A solar roof is seen on a Fisker Karma hybrid electric car during the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan.

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Image: Fisker Karma hybrid electric car.
Photographs: Mark Blinch/Reuters.

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The car, which began as an employee recycling initiative, is made with the equivalent of 1700 recycled aluminium cans and 25 percent of the car is made from hemp grown in Norfolk. 

The car also has solar panels on the roof to help power its electrical system.

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Image: Visitors to the British International Motorshow in London's Excel centre look at a Lotus Eco.
Photographs: Andrew Winning/Reuters.
Tags: , Norfolk

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Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo looks at the first Philippine solar-powered car during a viewing at the presidential palace in Manila.

The solar-powered car participated in the World Solar challenge in Australia in October 2007.

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Image: first Philippine solar-powered car
Photographs: Romeo Ranoco/Reuters.

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Swiss teacher Louis Palmer drives his solar-powered car into the venue of the UN Climate Change conference in Nusa Dua, Bali in 2007.

Palmer, set off from Lucerne in July, with a stop-off in Bali, Indonesia, in abid to make history as the first solar-powered car to drive around the world.

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Image: Louis Palmer drives his solar-powered car.
Photographs: Reuters.

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Stanford solar car Equinox of the US at the starting line for the World Solar Challenge race in Darwin.

The World Solar Challenge is a biennial event where teams are required to research, build and design vehicles capable of completing the 3,000 km journey from Darwin in the Northern Territory, to Adelaide in South Australia.

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Image: Stanford solar car Equinox.


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Japan's Ashiya University solar car Ashiya High Ace TIGA competes in the qualifying laps for the World Solar Challenge race in Darwin .

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Image: Ashiya High Ace TIGA.
Photographs: Reuters.

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Canada's Esteban solar car Esteban IV competes in the qualifying laps for the World Solar Challenge race in Darwin.

The World Solar Challenge is a biennial event where Teams are required to research, build and design vehicles capable of completing the 3000km journey from Darwin in the Northern Territory, to Adelaide in South Australia.

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Image: Solar car Esteban IV.


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Goko high school team's solar car Musoushin competes in an eight-hour endurance event at the Alternative Energies Cup race sanctioned by the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) at the Suzuka Circuit, central Japan.
(JAPAN)

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Image: Solar car Musoushin.
Photographs: Toru Hanai/Reuters.

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Dan Evans (C) climbs onto Australia's Aurora Vehicle Association Inc's solar car Aurora 101 during the first day of an eight-hour endurance race of the Dream and Challenge of Federation Internationale del'Automobile (FIA) Alternative Energies Cup and Dream Cup solar car race Suzuka.

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Image: Solar car Aurora 101.


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Canadian Border Service Officer Lauren Lange (R) clears driver Huy Le of the University of Waterloo (Ontario Canada) at the Emerson West Lynne Border Crossing in southern Manitoba, Canada during the North American Solar Challenge.

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Image: North American Solar Challenge.


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University of Minnesota solar car leads the way of the 2005 North American Solar Challenge through its home state passing by Lake Benton, Minnesota, also known as the "Original Wind Power Capital of the Midwest".

Some of the 200 wind turbines, that provide power for the surrounding area, grace the skyline along the Buffalo Ridge, bringing clean, renewable energy to the forefront.


Image: North American Solar Challenge.


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