Green cars all set for race

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A contestant at the last year's Atacama Solar Challenge.Photo: AFP
A contestant at the last year's Atacama Solar Challenge.Photo: AFP

Eighteen solar-powered cars from Chile, Argentina, Venezuela and India will race across 1,300 kilometers of Chile's uber-dry Atacama desert for this year's "Atacama Solar Challenge."

The November 15-19 race is the latest instalment of Latin America's first big solar car competition, launched last year to encourage the development of low-cost environmentally-friendly vehicles.

Two types

Competing vehicles fall into two categories: cars powered exclusively by the sun's rays, designed by eight-person teams, and hybrid solar- and pedal-powered three-wheelers, mostly designed by university students.

Ten of the 12 cars developed by Chileans were put on display Wednesday in front of the presidential palace in downtown Santiago.

But the car will have to beat the Intikalpa 2, from last year's winning team, from the University of La Serena.

Their car, named using the Quechua word for "solar energy", has a top speed of 120 kilometers (75 miles) an hour.AFP



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