Transport Theory

Solar-powered car making a round-the-world journey

Posting in Energy

The SolarWorld GT is on the U.S. leg of a 21,000-mile world trip, during which it is set to break the record for the longest distance covered by a solar-powered car.

The SolarWorld Gran Turismo (GT), from the U.S.' largest maker of solar panels, last week began the U.S. portion of its 21,000-mile trek around the globe using only solar energy. The two-seater, powered by roof-integrated solar cells, was built by SolarWorld in collaboration with Bochum University of Applied Sciences in Germany. The GT is set to break the "Guinness Book of World Records" record for the longest distance covered by a solar car.

“The SolarWorld GT is an ambassador for sustainable personal transportation, reminding us that the power to shift our driving habits away from dirty fossil fuels is within our grasp,” said Kevin Kilkelly, president of SolarWorld Americas, the company’s commercial unit based in Camarillo, Calif.

The SolarWorld GT began its journey in Australia and New Zealand in October 2011, shipping to the U.S. after covering 3,100 miles. The car will make several stops along the U.S. portion of the journey, from California to Florida. You can spot it at the following dates and locations:

- 4 p.m. on February 3, University of California - Santa Barbara, Bren School of Management, Santa Barbara, Calif.

- 8:30 a.m. on February 6, SolarWorld Americas, Camarillo, Calif.

- 4 p.m. on February 10, Arizona State University, Office of Knowledge Enterprise Development, Tempe, Ariz.

- 4 p.m. on February 23, Texas Christian University, School of Geology, Energy and the Environment, Fort Worth, Tex.

- 4 p.m. on March 9, Florida A&M University, High Performance Materials Institute, Tallahassee, Fla.

The car will then proceed to Europe, Africa, and Asia, before finishing back in Australia later this year.

Photo: SolarWorld

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Channtal Fleischfresser

Contributing Editor

Contributing Editor Channtal Fleischfresser has worked for The Economist, WNET/Channel 13, Al Jazeera English, Wall Street Journal and Associated Press. She holds degrees from the University of Pennsylvania and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. She is based in New York. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure