India’s first Solar Vehicle Challenge set to take place in 2021: Over 1,600 km to be covered in 8 days

A first of its kind 1,600-km national road rally of electric-solar vehicles from Delhi to Pune is being organised by the Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) and Imperial Society of Innovation Engineering (ISIE).

India’s first Solar Vehicle Challenge set to take place in 2021: Over 1,600 km to be covered in 8 days


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The ‘Electric Solar Vehicle Championship: ESVC 3000+ Rally’ is planned on the lines of the World Solar Challenge held in Australia. This is India’s first Solar Vehicle Challenge. Teams from various parts of the world will be invited to participate in the event. This rally is being supported by the NITI Aayog. Rashmi Urdhwareshe, director ARAI, said the solar car rally will provide a platform for engineering student teams to work in electric mobility with renewable charging and enable budding engineers to grapple with real-life applications. It will also create awareness among younger generation towards sustainable mobility, she said.

Students will start building their own vehicles and are expected to get ready for the rally, scheduled to be held in March 2021. These vehicles will have to go through all the technical inspection, safety inspection, off-road test, rain test and various vehicle performance tests before starting the rally. Around 10% to 20% of the battery charge will be done by the solar panels. The rally will pass through a number of cities and there would be safety checks at every city or at every 200 km with charging facilities enroute. It will start from Delhi and culminate at the ARAI Pune in Chakan. The vehicles will have to cover 1,600-plus km in eight days. Around 50 vehicles are expected to participate and the challenge would be to complete the race.

Vinod Gupta, founder and president of ISIE, said, there is a general fear regarding range and feasibility of electric mobility among people, which this kind of a rally is seeking to address. As the rally is to pass through many cities, it will create an interest in electric mobility as well as help in adopting e-vehicles. Till now electric-solar vehicles competitions were being organised by ISIEI but it was limited to college campuses. Now, it will be going out into real life conditions.

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