Emilia 4 and its team are feverishly cheered. Dozens of Americans, including technicians and fans of the American Solar Challenge, are becoming more and more impressed by the performance of the only European solar car in the race. The Solar Wave Team has left Wyoming, the land of buffaloes and cowboys, and is heading into Idaho, the wildest state after Alaska. The goal in the new leg is to travel the entire 1,700-mile route without ever recharging the batteries and with four people on board.
"It would be the first time that a solar-powered vehicle attempts anything like this in the United States," says Professor Cristiano Fragassa, the scientific coordinator of the Emilia 4 project. Competing besides the Emilia 4, designed and built by the U. of Bologna along with, among others, Scm Group and Cms Advanced Materials, are cars built by the U. of Waterloo, U. of Minnesota and Appalachian State University, North Carolina.