The 3-hour “Cyprus Institute Solar Car Challenge” for solar powered cars took place on June 23 in Cyprus’s Nicosia. They have been promoting the eco-friendliness of the cars participating in this race.
16-year-old Venetia Chrysostomide was one of the participants in the race with a car worth 5,000 EUR. According to Venetia Chrysostomide, solar-powered cars can help Cyprus reduce fuel consumption and air pollution.
The race organizer, Aristides Bonanos, of the Cyprus Institute research center said the participants of the race invested an average of only 8,000 EUR for their cars.
This figure is quite modest compared to the hundreds of thousands of EUR spent on cars participating in the world’s largest solar powered car race in Australia with a length of 3,000 km called the World Solar Challenge.
According to Bonanos, the goal of the race is to help the public in Cyprus realize that making solar-powered cars is relatively easy and low-cost.
This is an ambitious goal in Cyprus – one of the countries with the highest car ownership rate in Europe with 595 cars for 1,000 people (according to the European Statistical Office – Eurostat).
Experts say the potential to develop solar powered cars in Cyprus is quite large when the country has 320 sunny days a year.
Meanwhile, 2016 statistics show that of the 28,000 newly registered cars in Cyprus, only 22 run on renewable energy.
In addition, Zephyr operates entirely on solar energy. This unmanned aircraft weighs only about 75kg thanks to being made from carbon fiber.
Zephyr “absorbs” solar energy through energy panels installed throughout the wingspan up to 25 meters, thereby extending the flight time of the flight on the stratosphere.
The Zephyr project is also aiming to bring potential solutions for disaster management, monitoring and communication.