Solar Cars Roll Across Earth’s Driest Desert

SANTIAGO, Chile (November 15, 2012)--The second annual Solar Challenge is underway in Chile's Atacama desert where 15 solar-powered cars rolled out of an old salt mine Thursday.

The solar-powered prototypes will travel more than 800 miles through the world's driest desert in the four-day, multinational race

There are two categories: cars powered only by solar energy, and three-wheeled models that get a little help from pedals pushed by the drivers themselves.

The cars had to be built for less than $7,000, forcing their makers to be creative more than wealthy.

Most of the teams represent university engineering departments.

The big finish is Monday.

Winners get prizes of $30,000 in the solar category and $9,000 in the hybrid category.

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