Fro the second year in a row, Tokai University can lay claim to the winner's laurels in the 2011 Veolia World Solar Challenge, a sun-powered race challenge in Australia that winds over 1,800 miles between Darwin and Adelaide using only 5 kWh of on-board energy and the rest beamed in directly from the sun. As the race's website says, "These are arguably the most efficient electric vehicles."

According to the provisional results (so called because they are subject to protests from any of the teams, even though this is known as a "friendly competition"), seven teams managed to go the entire 2,998 kilometer (1,862 miles) but Tokai came out on top because their average speed – 91.54 kilometers an hour (56.88 miles per hour) – was faster than any other finisher. The Tokai's final time was 32 hours and 45 minutes. The fact that only seven teams finished out of a starting list of 37 shows that this is not an easy race, and this year was particularly difficult thanks to brush fires (set by arsonists) along the route. The team that came in last, Green Maniac from Korea, only managed to travel 73 kilometers.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 5 Comments
      Timo
      • 6 Months Ago
      Arguably is right. They are efficient one person without any gear movers, in places that are very flat, in hard tarmac and direct sunlight always available. Try Finnish Lapland in winter with one of those. You wont get anywhere. Luckily this time they do not call those cars. They are vehicles, but in their entirely own category, they are not practical in any way, just interesting engineering challenge, that's all.
      Dan Frederiksen
      • 6 Months Ago
      it's too thick, the canopy is too big and could probably benefit from a 'compliant coating' like dophins and golf balls have. I imagine it could be similarly improved in suspension and drivetrain efficiency. the cells themselves is a matter whatever tech you can get. 40% cells exist but can be cost prohibitive. anti reflex coating might also help.
        Marco Polo
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Dan Frederiksen
        Compare, 23 happy future engineer's, delighted at the remarkable success that all their hard work and dedication has accomplished. Now, look at one negative "pretend engineer' troll, who has never accomplished anything in his miserable narcissistic life, sitting alone in his bedroom typing malicious rubish.....
          Dan Frederiksen
          • 6 Months Ago
          @Marco Polo
          what specifically was malicious and what specifically was rubbish? after you've answered that, maybe take a look at what you wrote.
      Spec
      • 6 Months Ago
      56.88 miles per hour? Wow. That is amazing.