Solar powered vehicles left Darwin, Australia on Monday heading for Adelaide which is just over 3,000 kilometers away.

Each entrant of the 2013 World Solar Challenge will drive as far south as they can until 5pm each day. Once it reaches 5pm, all drivers have to pull over and camp for the night. The race, which takes place very two years, is expected to finish on Thursday.

Australia’s sunny location is perfect for this race. The course will bring drivers along the Stuart Highway, past Alice Springs to Port Augusta and then finally Adelaide in the south of the country. The gruelling conditions of the outback will no doubt make this a challenging competition for the drivers and cars alike.

World Solar Challenge Underway In Australia, Who Will Win?

The thirty-eight teams competing in the race are from more than twenty countries and the budgets for the cars range from a few hundred thousand dollars to tens of millions.

So far the leader in the Challenger Class is Nuon Solar Team’s Nuna7 but with previous winners Japan’s Tokai University close behind them in third, they definitely can’t afford to relax and enjoy the scenery.

In the Cruiser Class competiton, the first four-seat family car to run entirely on solar power is currently in the lead. The car, named Stella, belongs to the Solar Team Eindhoven from the Netherlands.

Chris Selwood who is the event director told the Sydney Morning Herald that the event is about innovation.

“We try to do better every time. Every edition of the World Solar Challenge is different because we evolve our regulations in line with technology,” Selwood said, adding, “We’re not same-old same-old, we’re pushing the boundaries of technology.”

With soaring temperatures and rough terrain, it will be interesting to see which car and driver can push those boundries and be first over the line.

[Image via Wikipedia]