A Dutch team won a solar-powered car race across Australia for a seventh time on Thursday, with a University of Michigan car taking the second place in the biennial World Solar Challenge.
The Nuon team’s Nuna 9 car averaged more than 80 kph (50 mph) to reach the World Solar Challenge finish line in the southern coastal city of Adelaide after five days of racing across 3,022 kilometers (1,878 miles) of Outback highway. The Delft University of Technology-based team has competed eight times.
The University of Michigan team’s car, Novum, finished an hour later, with Belgium team Punch Powertrain close behind in third place. Nuon team engineer Marten Arthens described the win as the “best feeling ever.” “We’re going to celebrate, but first I’m going to take a shower. I haven’t done that a week,” Arthens said.
The race starts from Darwin in the north, to end at Adelaide. Most cars are expected to attain average speeds between 80-100 kph. This year’s race attracted 95 teams from more than 20 countries.
The event marks 30 years since the first World Solar Challenge in 1987. 42 cars competed in this edition of the solar car race. Japan’s Tokai University maintain the record of the fastest time, when they completed the transcontinetal race in 2009 in only 29 hours and 49 minutes.