Internode Blog

Well, here we are!

Friday, October 30th, 2009 by

charging-darwinThis morning, the Roadster was taken out for one of its last road trips for a while – the Urban Cycle course around Adelaide, heading up into the hills through Belair and then down through Magill and North East Road before returning to the city centre to attend an official welcome by the SA premier, Mike Rann.

After 3,147 kilometres, we’ve successfully driven our team all the way from Darwin to Adelaide, with the Roadster travelling completely on electric power – and we set a world record on the way. Nothing to laugh at!

Now, for those of you a little confused about the nature of this Eco Challenge, and whether or not it was a race, and if you’re wondering how well each of the cars did, I’ve got a few numbers for you. Unfortunately, these numbers do not relate to the two electric cars (the Roadster and the Deep Green Research Honda Civic) – those are coming tomorrow once the data-monkeys can crunch some numbers.

So. For the rest of the pack, their ‘performance’ is based upon a comparison with published Australian Design Regulation figures. This is how it panned out, for each of the VFACTS classes entered in the Challenge:

Eco Challenge Awards

Production Class Small Car Diesel
Ford Fiesta ECOnetic 15.44%
Production Class Small Car Petrol
Suzuki Alto GLX 18.55%
Production Class Ute/Light Truck
HSV Maloo Ute 48.76%
Production Class Large Car Petrol
Ford Falcon XR6 Turbo 39.81%
Production Class Large Car Diesel
Skoda Superb 33.50%
Production Class Medium/ Off Road
Hyundai Santa Fe SLX – Entry#5 23.90%
Production Class 2 seat Electric
Tesla Roadster
Modified Production Small Electric
Deep Green Research Honda Civic
Modified Production Hybrid
Annesley College Holden Viva
Modified Production Motor Bike
Top Gear Magazine – Honda CT-110 (postie bike!)

World Solar Challenge Awards

Adventure Class
3rd Goko High School Hiroshima
2nd Southern Aurora
1st Osaka Sangyo University

Challenge Class Silicon
Winner: University New South Wales

Challenge Class
3rd University of Michigan
2nd Nuon Solar Team

Overall Winner
Winner: Tokai University

As you can see, everybody’s a winner! (Well, almost…)
See you tomorrow night at the presentations, we’ve been told there’s a few more awards that they haven’t announced just yet!

Congratulations to everybody involved – it wouldn’t have been the same without you!

It’s a long way…

Thursday, October 29th, 2009 by

We’re nearly at the end of our run, as we cross this wide, brown land from top to bottom. It’s been an adventure – and we’ve seen more than a few spectacular sights.

Wildlife was everywhere, and we saw eagles, hawks, kangaroos, wallabies, camels, snakes, cows and sheep wandering around the place. Unfortunately though, while I kept my eyes peeled, I didn’t quite manage to catch a glimpse of any drop bears (but I did hear rumours of hoop snakes just before we hit Tennant Creek – they’re those ones that bite their tails and then roll along the road like a hoop!).

The Global Green Challenge route goes through a seriously huge stretch of land, all the way from Darwin to Adelaide. The official route goes through cattle stations, Defense Force prohibited land (near Woomera), and a number of prescribed areas where alcohol and pornography are not allowed (many people spend the rest of the trip wondering what exactly they do for fun in those areas!).

Seriously though, over the past few days, we’ve driven over, through and past the traditional ancestral lands of many people, including several sacred sites and other important locations.

We would like to take a moment to acknowledge (and thank) those indigenous people for allowing us to use their land for this challenge.

The following Ananju / Nunga countries are traversed by the Global Green Challenge:

Northern Territory

  • Larrakia
  • Warai
  • Kungarakany
  • Wagiman
  • Jawoyn
  • Yangman
  • Mudburra
  • Jingili
  • Warlmanpa
  • Warrumungu
  • Kaytej
  • Anmatyerre
  • Arrente

South Australia

  • Luritja
  • Pitjantjatjara
  • Antakarinja
  • Arabunna
  • Kokatha
  • Barngala
  • Nukunu
  • Ngadjuri
  • Narrungga
  • Kaurna
The Roadster at Devils Marbles, NT

– Jessica Citizen

Congratulations, Tokai Challenger!

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009 by

The first solar car arrived in Adelaide this afternoon at 3:39pm local time – covering 2,998km since Sunday morning.

Team Tokai arrive in Adelaide to the adoring media

It’s a bit of a history-making event – not only are they the first team to ever win on Day 3, they are also the first Japanese team to win the event since 1993. In addition to that, the drivers included Kenjiro Shinozuka alongside Tokai University students and alumni – he was the first Japanese to achieve overall victory in the Paris to Dakar Rally!

By the way, after qualifying fourth, the Tokai race was nearly flawless, with the only reported “issue” a flat tyre, which happened this morning at a rail overpass in Crystal Brook.

tokaichallenger…this victory also breaks a four-event winning streak from Team Nuon, who took home the gold in 2001, 2003, 2005 and 2007. This year’s Team Nuon entry, Nuna V, is currently tied for second place with Michigan University’s Infinium, with both cars arriving simultaneously at Port Augusta at 3:30pm SA time this afternoon – it’s a very tight competition between those two!

The fourth solar car is actually not the one in fourth place overall: it’s actually OSU Model S, the team from Osaka. They’re entered in the Adventure Class, which has slightly different specifications to the Challenge class that Tokai, Michigan and Nuon are competing in.

21Revolution, from Solar Team Twente (our Dutch friends) are currently somewhere near the SA/NT border in 9th place, following an accident 90km from Alice Springs.

Australian favourite Aurora 101 has suitably recovered from their issues earlier, and are currently in 8th place, having checked in at Coober Pedy late this afternoon.

We, on the other hand, checked out of Coober Pedy this morning and are now settling into our final hotel for the trip, in lovely Port Augusta. Nearly home – we return victorious to Adelaide tomorrow afternoon!

– Jessica Citizen

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