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Solar-power car run planned from Far East to Copenhagen

16 February 2001

The organiser of international rallies of solar-powered vehicles arrives from Tokyo on Thursday to prepare or a journey in a one-seat solar- powered sports car across the Eurasian continent. Yamamoto Hisashiro's car, the Yona San, is a new type of environmentally-clean vehicle. The aerodynamic body of the three- wheeler is made from balsa, carbon-filled plastics and cardboard reinforced with glass fibre. Its frame is made from aluminium pipe. The vehicle can travel only in the daytime, when it makes about 300-400 kilometres at a maximum speed of 90 kilometres an hour. The 1,200 watt solar panels give the brushless direct- current electric motor 1.6 kilowatts of power and for bad weather, the car has nickel-zinc storage batteries. Hisashiro's rally is planned for the summer, starting in Vladivostok and travelling through Krasnoyarsk, Moscow, St.Petersburg, Helsinki, Stockholm, and on to Copenhagen. Among those at the wheel will be a Russian driver of solar- powered cars, Alexander Popolov. Rallies of this kind have already taken place in Japan and Australia.