In order to meet the challenges of transporting our 20-person Race Crew and many of our spare parts across Australia, the Solar Car Team requires a fleet of versatile vehicles for its race caravan. The University of Michigan team would like to thank Ford Australia for supporting the team by lending us four vehicles that satisfy even the toughest of the race’s demands in the upcoming Global Green Challenge.
During the afternoon of September 18th, Ford Australia hosted the team at its Head Office in Melbourne. Infinium and two of the four vehicles Ford Australia provided to the team were on display outside of the Head Office, and we had the pleasure of meeting with many Ford employees. Ford Australia’s President and CEO, Marin Burela, joined us to see the solar car and to wish us luck in the Global Green Challenge. Mr. Burela, who previously oversaw Ford’s small cars operations globally, spoke excitedly about the Ford Fiesta and Ford’s other fuel-efficient vehicles that will be taking part in the Global Green Challenge’s eco-car event. Our team is looking forward to competing alongside the consumer vehicles entered into the challenge.
Of the four vehicles Ford Australia is providing to the team, the Ford Territory SUV is a perfect fit for the needs of our Lead, Chase, and Weather vehicles. With three rows of seating, each Territory can carry either seven passengers or five passengers with ample room for extra equipment. The 30 storage compartments in each car provide plenty of space for any spare parts or tools we may need. Our Chase vehicle even has an LCD screen mounted to the ceiling, so our strategists will be able to use the screen to display telemetry data coming from Infinium. The last of the four support vehicles, Scout, is a Ford Ranger pickup capable of hauling a large cargo load plus a full cab of team members. With these quality vehicles and the generous support from Ford Australia, our team caravan is well-prepared to respond to the challenges we will face in the outback.