Today is the start of the 2010 American Solar Challenge (ASC) race. Solar-powered vehicles will leave from Broken Arrow, Oklahoma and head to Naperville, Illinois today. In three days, drivers will start in Topeka, Kansas and go to a checkpoint in Jefferson City, Missouri before heading to Rolla, Missouri.
Many of the solar-powered vehicle teams come from universities, like Stanford, Northwestern, Illinois State, and Iowa State University. But, like in the Solar Decathlon, some also come from other countries (i.e. Germany, Taiwan and Canada).
A total of 17 teams are participating in this year’s race.
“Researchers have been incorporating solar energy technology into a broader range of vehicles, from boats to automobiles and even airplanes. For example, the 2010 Toyota Prius even uses a small photovoltaic panel to help provide power for its interior,” CoolerPlanet reports. Perhaps we will see this race turn into a major national event in coming years.
For now, it looks quite interesting and fun, but still quite small.
Image Credit: TJCoffey via flickr/CC license