Leuven students’ team wins solar-powered car race in Chili

The solar-powered car that was designed by a team of students from the Catholic University of Leuven (KUL) has won the Carrera Solar Atacama race in Chili. The Punch Powertrain Solar Team’s vehicle was dominant in the event that was held in some of the world’s most extreme conditions.     

The 2,577 race was run from the Chilean capital Santiago to the town of Arica in the north of the country. En route they encountered extreme weather and terrain. It included summits in the Andes that are 3,430 above sea level.     

The Leuven team drove a total of 36 hours spread over 6 days.

The driver of the solar-powered car that had been named Punch 2 Pieter Galle told VRT News that “During the race the team that mainly consists of civil engineering students from Leuven University tested the vehicle to its limits. With the exception of some minor electrical problems everything ran impeccably”.  

The world solar-powered vehicle championships will form the next challenge for the Leuven team. The championships will be held in Australia from 13 October 2019.