Bonn, 29. December 2011, A solar circumnavigation of the world propelled only by the power of the sun – that is the mission of the SolarWorld GT solar racer. On time for the beginning of the new year, the solar racing vehicle has completed the crossing of Australia and New Zealand, finishing the first leg of the round-the-world trip. Now, the SolarWorld GT team is on its way to San Francisco from where it will travel across the North American continent. The solar racer -- built by SolarWorld AG, a leading provider of solar power technology, and the Bochum (Germany) University of Applied Sciences -- is the first solar-powered vehicle that has started on a trip around the world without fuel and externally provided electricity. If it succeeds, it will simultaneously establish the world record for the longest distance ever driven by a solar-powered car.
Since its start in October 2011, the SolarWorld GT racer has covered a distance of around 5,000 kilometres through big Australian cities, spectacular deserts and impressive mountain landscapes, past thousands and thousands of sheep, across the scenery of the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy in New Zealand. Another 30,000 kilometres, four continents and two equator crossings are still ahead of the team before it will end its journey back in Australia probably by early December 2012.
The energy-independent two-seater is designed to attract interest to solar energy with its trip around the world. “The SolarWorld GT is an ambassador for solar power and solar mobility. It runs completely without fuel and externally provided electricity,” explains Dr.-Ing. E. h. Frank Asbeck, Chairman and CEO of SolarWorld AG. “In the future, millions of vehicles will be electrically operated. They will not all have their own on-board power plant like the SolarWorld GT, but they can be recharged with a SunCarport or with the solar power plant on your own roof.”
SolarWorld and the Bochum University of Applied Sciences have cooperated since 2006 in the field of electro-mobility and done research on joint projects. In this context, the predecessor of the SolarWorld GT, the Solarracer SolarWorld No. 1, was developed and already participated in the world’s leading competition for solar vehicles, the World Solar Challenge, in the last few years.
The SolarWorld GT also competed successfully in the World Solar Challenge in Australia in 2011 and received the Design Award for the most beautiful and most innovative solar-powered car. Thus, the award went to SolarWorld and the Bochum team for the third time in succession.
Source: SolarWorld AG