A driver sits in his solar powered car from the team BozzEnergy at the start of the first phase of a race, in Chile, Thursday.
Colleen Kelly, ASSOCIATED PRESS
In this photo released by Carrera Solar Atacama 2012, a driver sits in his solar powered car from the team Condor 2 Mining Parts at the start of the first phase of a race, in Humberstone in the area of Pozo Almonte, Chile, Thursday, Nov. 15, 2012. Most participants belong to universities and an entry rule is that cars cannot cost more then $7,000 dollars. (AP Photo/Carrera Solar Atacama 2012)
Colleen Kelly, ASSOCIATED PRESS - AP
Solar cars roll across Earth's driest desert
- Associated Press
- November 15, 2012 - 6:12 PM
SANTIAGO, Chile - The second annual Solar Challenge has begun in Chile's Atacama desert, where 15 solar-powered cars rolled out of an old salt mine Thursday.
The solar-powered prototypes will travel more than 800 miles (1,300 kilometers) through the world's driest desert in the four-day, multinational race.
There are two categories: cars powered only by solar energy, and three-wheeled models that get a little help from pedals pushed by the drivers themselves.
The cars had to be built for less than $7,000, forcing their makers to be creative more than wealthy. Most of the teams represent university engineering departments.
The big finish comes Monday, and the winners get prizes of $30,000 in the solar category and $9,000 in the hybrid category.
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