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Oerlikon Solar sponsors electric car race

Oerlikon Solar is the main sponsor of the Zerotracer solar electric vehicle participating in the Zero Emissions Race.

The Oerlikon Solar Racing Team’s Zerotracker will participate in the race that goes around the globe in 80 days.

Jürg Henz, CEO of Oerlikon Solar, says: "Run by Oerlikon Solar's innovative Swiss engineering thin-film silicon solar technology, the Zerotracer is a perfect example of how electric vehicles can be fun to drive, desirable in design and sporty in performance, all while fighting global warming."

The car

Oerlikon Solar is responsible for generating the solar energy used to charge the car. The energy is produced on thin-film silicon modules. The Zerotracer will require around 2.4 MWh for the 30,000 km trip around the world.

The Zerotracer is a combination of a car and a motorcycle, which is said to be able to accelerate faster than a Porsche 911 with an acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.5 seconds. It consumes 4 kW when travelling at an average speed of 80 km/h, giving it a range of 450 km.

The body weighs less than 80 kg and is made from Kevlar composite, which is also used in Formula 1 automobile construction.

The race

The Zero Emissions Race is the brainchild of Louis Palmer, the first person to circle the globe in a solar-powered vehicle. Palmer's aim with the Zero Emissions Race, which is being held under the auspices of the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP), is to present emissions-free mobility solutions.

The Zero Emissions Race started on 16 August at the United Nations office in Geneva and will continue for 80 days, heading eastward through 16 countries and passing through more than 150 cities, including Berlin, Munich, Moscow, Shanghai, Vancouver, Los Angeles, Cancun (World Climate Conference), Lisbon and Madrid. It will conclude on 22 January, 2011 in Geneva.

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Photovoltaics (PV)