Solar cars line up in Pretoria for start of first race around SA

Posted by Laura Grant on September 26, 2008
Posted in Transport

On Sunday, six solar cars will set off from Pretoria on an epic, two-week race around South Africa. The competitors in this Solar Challenge, which include teams from India, Japan, and South Africa, have built their own cars and designed their own engineering systems. They’re now ready to test them on some of the most demanding terrain that solar cars have ever known, say the race organisers.

The six weird yet wonderful vehicles will make their way from Pretoria to Cape Town, then drive along the coast to Durban, before climbing the steep Drakensburg Mountains on their way back to Pretoria and the finish line at the Innovation HUB on October 8.

“This event brings together the technologies students and the public need to understand when building and using electric cars and alternative energy solutions,” say the organiser. They are feats of engineering that combine technologies like electric motors, batteries, solar energy and hydrogen fuel cells.

The cars will be on display at  venues around South Africa over the next 13 days and the public will be able to view the vehicles and talk to the team members about the cars.

The cars will start racing at 8:00am each morning and will finish racing at the overnight stops at 5:00pm each day, the public is welcome at the start and finish lines. The schedule is as follows:

Fri, Sep 26 after 12:00pm – Pretoria, Menlyn shopping centre
Sat, Sep 27 after 9:00am – Pretoria, Menlyn shopping centre
Sun, Sep 28 after 5:00pm – Kimberly, Shell Garage at the entrance to the town
Mon, Sep 29 after 5:00pm – Beaufort West, Karoo National Park
Tue, Sep 30 after 5:00pm – Cape Town, Canal Walk shopping centre
Wed, Oct 1 whole day  – Cape Town, Canal Walk shopping centre
Thu, Oct 2 after 5:00pm – Plettenburg Bay, Wittedrif high school
Fri, Oct 3 after 5:00pm – East London, Grens high school
Sat, Oct 4 after 5:00pm – Port Shepston, Inkwazi River Resort
Sun, Oct 5 after 5:00pm – Durban, Gateway Center
Mon, Oct 6 whole day – Durban, Gateway Center
Tue, Oct 7 after 5:00pm  – Ermelo, De Villas
Wed, Oct 8 12:00pm – 5:00pm – Pretoria, Innovation HUB, awards function

If you’d like more information on where to see the cars visit the Solar Challenge website

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