Solar vehicles enter outback challenge

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The race covers 1,878 miles (3,022 km) through the Australian Outback, from North to South, starting in Darwin and finishing in Adelaide, and attracts teams from all around the world.

By mid-afternoon on Monday, the Dutch vehicle was about 950km south of Darwin after Sunday's start to the 3000km World Solar Challenge.

Defending champions Nuon are leading the 2017 race of solar-powered cars from Darwin to Adelaide.

The Solar Team Twente auto from the Netherlands competes during the second race day of the 2017 World Solar Challenge in Daly Waters, Australia.

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Google co-founder Larry Page and Tesla co-founder J.B Straubel are past competitors who credit the event in influencing their careers.

The University of Michigan Solar Car Team car from the USA competes during the second race day of the 2017 World Solar Challenge in Daly Waters, Australia. Nuon's auto is quite different in design to Team Tokai's vehicle, whose Tokai Challenger favors a more aerodynamic shape than the Nuna 9's slightly more boxy form.

The Cruiser class is more practical, in this class, solar cars designed for practicality and acceptance in a given market segment.

Race Director, Chris Selwood shared that the goal of the race is not to develop fast technology that won't be able to reach the masses but to make energy-positive, sustainable cars and turn renewable energy into a reality.

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Teams are made of students and competitors are allowed 10 per cent of their energy to start with, before having to reply on the sun or the vehicle's kinetic energy to get to the end.

The teams are allowed to drive between 8 am and 5 pm each day and to set up camp wherever their auto pulls off the road at the end of the day.

This year the race organizers decided to make things a little tougher for the designers and engineers who create the cars by decreasing the permitted size of the solar collector area on each vehicle.

There are seven checkpoints along the route where drivers can get updates on their standings, the weather, and do basic maintenance - clearing any debris from the vehicle and adjusting tyre pressure.

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