CleanTechnica readers are perhaps already familiar with the World Solar Challenge, but here’s a quick summary: 3000 km (1800 miles) through suspiciously desert-y terrain in the heart of Australia in wheeled vehicles with no fossil fuels allowed. The solar cars don’t even get to start with enough electricity to make it from start (Darwin) to finish (Adelaide). According to worldsolarchallenge.com, “…based on the original notion that a 1000W car would complete the journey in 50 hours, solar cars are allowed a nominal 5kW hours of stored energy, which is 10% of that theoretical figure. All other energy must come from the sun or be recovered from the kinetic energy of the vehicle.”
This year, the World Solar Challenge will benefit tremendously from partnership with a significant backer – Veolia Environmental Services. As seen on its Wikipedia page, Veolia is internationally well-known as a world leader in environmental services, making it a fantastic fit with the solar event.
Mark Warren, CEO of the South Australian Motor Sports Board, was quite enthusiastic as he spoke of the partnership and how it will direct the event in the future. “With the backing of one of the world’s leaders in environmental services, we have a much greater chance of taking solar car technology out of the future fantasy realm and into the garages of everyday Australians,” Mr. Warren said.
“Thirty nine teams from 20 countries qualified for this year’s event, representing millions of dollars that are literally crossing the country. A significant share of that current investment is international,” he continued. “A company such as Veolia, with a strong profile both internationally and in Australia, will inspire and build on Australian corporate support encouraging industry and other sponsors to do even more for the future of sustainable transport here in Australia. I would like to publicly acknowledge and thank Veolia for their support and belief in the integrity of this unique event.”
Doug Dean, Managing Director of Veolia Environmental Services, Australia, was also glowingly positive: “As a global leader in the provision of environmental services, Veolia is committed to supporting innovation which improves our environment, whilst also promoting renewable and alternative energy sources. We are therefore very proud to partner with the World Solar Challenge in 2011.”
Veolia also gets the added benefit of attaching their name to the race – this year it’s called the “Veolia World Solar Challenge.” As for the rest of us, hopefully solar car technology will make it into the garages of not just Australians, but drivers all over the world.
Source: Veolia World Solar Challenge.