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Solar-Powered Car to Make Nearly 2,600-Mile Journey

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Engineering students from the University of Johannesburg Energy Movement in South Africa are taking electric cars to the next level. Their car, called the Ilanga II, is powered entirely by solar panels, and will be making a 4,160 km (2,584.9 mi) journey from South Africa across the border to Namibia and Botswana.

desert sun

Well, there couldn’t possibly be better places for solar power testing.

This trek will be used to improve the prototype, which, if all goes well, will be used to try to break the solar-only land speed world record.

However, this isn’t just a test run for the prototype. This is also a recruiting trip for clean energy. The team will make stops to share their experiences with schools, researchers, and people interested in engineering or science, with an emphasis on alternative energy.

In addition, the team will be stopping in rural towns along the route to teach people about the importance of renewable energy and sustainability, as well as ways to implement that knowledge.

The group teamed up with Professor Vivian Alberts at PTiP Innovations, who have developed thin film solar energy technology, which they hope to test at the rural towns.