Created as an event to promote research on solar powered cars, the World Solar Challenge began as much more of a challenge than a race — a 3000-kilometre cross-continental sprint from Darwin to Adelaide in cars powered only by sunshine.
By 1993 and the third World Solar Challenge, solar cars were no longer novelties, but sophisticated high-tech machines easily capable of exceeding highway speed limits. They’d become mobile research and development laboratories for the technologies of the clean, ‘green’ cars of the future.
Reporting for ABC-TV’s Quantum program, Megan James followed the 1993 cars along the Stuart highway as the teams tested each other and their technologies in the quest to be first to Adelaide.
The 1993 World Solar Challenge proved to be sensational, with speed and performance records smashed by margins few thought possible. And with 52 solar cars travelling down the Stuart Highway at speeds to rival conventional cars, it marked the coming of age of a set of technologies that would change the automotive world.
And up amongst the leaders was a brilliant Australian car…