Solar-powered car race 'promotes science, technology'
Africa’s first-ever solar-powered car race is under way in South Africa to raise awareness about alternative energy and promote science and technology, organisers said on Wednesday.
Local teams are competing against racers from India and Japan in the two-week South African Solar Challenge, which aims to encourage students to study engineering, a field in which the country faces huge skills shortage.
“Promoting science and technology, that is the main focus. If we can convince another 10 people in our country to become engineers, it could be a radical improvement to our economy,” said organiser Winstone Jordaan.
The group also hopes to promote alternative energy and green technology.
“Not a lot of people understand a six-square-metre solar array can make a car go 160km/h. That’s the crux of it, to get a generation of people growing up understanding the power of solar, how do we apply it.”
Other solar car races are held in Europe, the United States and Australia, helping to develop technology for both alternative energy power sources and electric cars.—AFP