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Solar car hits U.S. in round-the-world jaunt

Last October, the SolarWorld GT solar-powered car set out from Darwin, Australia on a drive around the world. It has since driven 3,001 kilometers (1,865 miles) across Australia, logged 1,947 km (1,210 miles) crossing New Zealand and been shipped across the Pacific Ocean. This Friday, it will embark on the U.S. leg of its journey, as it sets out across America from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

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The SolarWorld GT is the result of a collaboration between solar panel manufacturer SolarWorld, and Bochum University of Applied Sciences in Germany. The four-wheeled, two-door, two-seat car gathers solar energy through photovoltaic panels built into its roof, with its solar generator offering a peak performance of 823 watts. Custom hub motors are located in both of the front wheels.

The vehicle manages an average speed of 50 km/h (31 mph), with a claimed top speed of 100 km/h (62 mph).
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