Power of One: Solar Car braves Canada’s Arctic

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Arctic.jpgA international solar car team based in Canada, dubbed “The Power of One” (XOF1), is about to face the greatest challenge for any electric vehicle – “the longest ice road in the world.”

“In the Arctic we expect temperatures to be in the -30 degrees C range during the Ice Challenge,” says solar car driver Marcelo da Luz. “The solar car is not equipped with heating, so human and machine will be pushed to their physical limits.”
 
The Ice Challenge is set to take place on the seasonal ice road that runs
between Inuvik and Tuktoyaktuk, in Canada’s Northwest Territories. The road covers
180 km each way over the frozen Mackenzie River and Arctic
Ocean. “Driving a solar car in the Arctic under extreme conditions is a
technological challenge and a personal challenge,” says John Schaefer, a member of the support crew. “No way I
will miss this chance.”

XOF1 made history as the first solar car to reach the Arctic Circle
under its own power. Using only sunshine as fuel, XOF1 continued across
North America, breaking the world distance record for a solar car. On
July 20, 2009, XOF1 re-wrote the history books when it crossed the
Arctic Circle for a second time.

The car can accelerate from zero to 85 kilometres per hour in six seconds, and can drive distances of 200 km at night and 483 km on a bright sunny day. The team is comprised of people from all walks of life – ordinary, average people from the grassroots of our society as well engineers and students. This mosaic of volunteers from 23 countries makes XOF1 a truly international project.

Here are some of the solar car’s accomplishments:

  • World distance record holder: 35,700 km
  • First solar car in the world to operate below freezing temperatures
  • First solar car in the world to drive on an ice road
  • First solar car to reach the Arctic Circle, not once but twice
  • It crossed 23 states, 4 provinces and 2 territories in the United States and Canada

“While the Ice Challenge is the greatest test of endurance on the planet for the solar car and its driver, it also raise awareness to the Artic its challenges with Climate Change,” says da Luz. “Sadly, one day there won’t be any permanent ice left. I hope by taking on this challenge we can inspire people to think of ways to be energy conscious and preserve our natural resources. We live in a beautiful planet, let’s keep it that way.”
 
To learn more about the Ice challenge visit www.xof1.com.

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