A total of eleven teams from Bolivia, Belgium, Colombia and Chile started today in the V Edition of the Atacama Solar Race, which this year has a route of more than 2,600 kilometers between Santiago and Arica, in the extreme north of the southern country.
Most of the route will take place in the Atacama Desert, considered the driest on the planet and with the highest solar radiation, ideal to power the engines of the participating vehicles, according to the organizers.
The participants in the test are divided into two groups: four prototypes run in the "Solar Category", which considers electric vehicles powered by solar energy and that will travel the entire route from Santiago to Arica.
The other seven vehicles will compete in the "Hybrid Category", powered by solar energy and human traction, and will run in urban circuits in different cities of the country, specifically La Serena, Copiapo, Diego de Almagro, Antofagasta, San Pedro de Atacama, Sierra Gorda , Iquique and Arica.
It should be noted that participating vehicles can reach speeds of up to 140 kilometers per hour.
The Chilean transport ministers, Gloria Hutt, and Energy, Susana Jiménez, were responsible for giving the start to the 2018 edition of the race, which will last for eight days.
Jiménez stressed on the opportunity that Chile is an "undisputed leader" in the development of solar energy and that the use of energy from renewable sources is one of the main projections of the country for the future.
The 2018 edition "is the most extreme it has ever had in its history and, without fear of being wrong, I believe that today it is the most difficult competition for solar cars in the world", according to Efe Leandro Valencia, director of the Race Solar Atacama.
According to the organizers, in addition to its competitive nature, the purpose of the Atacama Solar Race is to promote clean energy and contribute to the development of technologies to improve urban transport.