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Solar-Powered Race Cars From Around The World Converge On Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- Solar-powered race cars have taken to race tracks and roadways around the world, and now they've arrived in Western Pennsylvania.

A group from Switzerland and 20 other teams will take part next week in a three-day competition at the PittRace track in Wampum.

Swiss team leader Stefan Maeder says the battery's powered by sunshine.

"The power from the motor you use from the battery, and you reach out for the power from solar panels," he says. "And inside, you have a display which shows how much comes in and goes out."

Top speed is less than 50 miles an hour. But the real object in a solar race is to stay out as long as possible.

The team that completes the most solar-powered laps in the three days, Tuesday through Thursday, wins. Teams that finish will then compete in a road race, from Cleveland to South Dakota.

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A team from Minneapolis prepares for a practice run. On a sunny day like this, it doesn't take long for the battery to charge. But what happens when it rains?

"Then, of course, we cannot drive that far,"" says team leader Daniel Roth. "We have to come to a secure place, a place where we can stop and charge the battery, that we have a certain level of power available in the battery."

The solar car teams hope for continued sunny weather next week, and more of the same on the cross-country trip to Hot Springs, South Dakota.


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