A team of German students spent Tuesday driving a solar-powered car down the coast from Half Moon Bay to Pescadero, Santa Cruz and inland to Watsonville on the first day of the U.S.-leg of a worldwide quest to set a Guinness World Record for the farthest distance ever traveled by a solar-powered car.
The car — a two-seater sports model dubbed the SolarWorld GranTurismo (GT) — runs on a battery charged by the sun via solar panels. It was developed by a team of engineering, business and graphic arts students from Germany's Bochum University of Applied Sciences, according to Devon Cichoski, a spokeswoman for Hillsboro, Ore.- and German-based solar panel manufacturing company SolarWorld.
"The SolarWorld GT is unique among solar cars in that it's designed to travel long distances," Cichoski said. "Other solar cars are designed for speed."
After leaving Half Moon Bay Tuesday morning, the students stopped at iconic points along the coast including the in Pescadero and the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.
On Wednesday the car continued its trip further south. It will make a public stop in Santa Barbara on Saturday, Feb. 4.
For more information about the car and its global journey, read a story on Half Moon Bay Patch .