Synergies between Internode and the Global Green Challenge are obvious as both organisations are committed to innovation and embracing environmentally responsible technologies.
Adelaide-based Internode is the largest privately owned broadband company in Australia. Renowned for its reputation of technical innovation and excellence, the company operates a first-tier telecommunications network throughout Australia with dedicated international links to the USA and Asia.
The Global Green Challenge is an evolution of the acclaimed World Solar Challenge and will showcase electric, hybrid, solar, low emission and alternative energy vehicles to a public eager to positively engage with practical solutions in regard to a healthy future for the planet.
Internode's sponsorship of the Global Green Challenge is just the latest demonstration of its corporate environmental responsibility. Last year, Internode achieved CO2-free status after undertaking a major greenhouse gas emission audit and purchasing the required offset carbon credits. Since September, Internode has used 100 per cent GreenPower™, generated from sources such as wind and solar, throughout its entire operations.
Links between the two organisations are strengthened by the fact that Internode founder and Managing Director Simon Hackett passionately believes in the viability and value of electric vehicles. He has recently purchased a Tesla Roadster, the world's first commercially available electric sports cars, which he intends to drive in the Global Green Challenge.
Mr. Hackett said he had brought the first Roadster to Australia to complement Internode's green initiatives. "The point of the exercise is to demonstrate that it is possible to be both green and high performance: Like a Roadster - and indeed, like Internode," he said.
"I've been passionate about electric vehicles since I drove a GM EV-I electric car in California during the 1980s. I strongly believe that electric vehicles are the future of motoring and this is the most concrete way that I can personally contribute to educating people in Australia about just how real they are. In the Tesla and through pioneering initiatives like the Global Green Challenge, people can see what the future of cars looks like."
Internode's Tesla Roadster will join some 20 alternative energy vehicles ranging from pure electric through to hybrid, low emission, alternative fuel, and ultra-efficient diesel machines that will compete under regulations set by the Confederation of Australian Motor Sport (CAMS) and the international sporting authority, the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA).
These vehicles will be assessed against manufacturers carbon emission and fuel efficiency (consumption) claims.
The event will also feature some 40 plus solar vehicles that have been the pioneers in developing technology in relation to battery efficiency, electric motor design and low rolling resistance tyres. Participants in the World Solar Challenge section of the event come from the USA, the Netherlands, France, Australia, Turkey, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Malaysia, Germany, Switzerland, Japan, India, Canada, Senegal, Taiwan, Greece, and Singapore.
The Global Green Challenge is managed by the South Australian Motor Sport Board with major partners including the South Australian and Northern Territory Governments and SA Tourism.
Commenting on the signing of Internode as an event partner, South Australian Motor Sport Board Chief Executive Jason Allen said he believed that Internode was an "ideal fit as a high quality organisation that believes in a better future, as a result of innovation and advancement in technology".
"This event is showcasing vehicles of the future, but also vehicles that will rapidly become a major part of the car fleet as people demand environmentally friendly vehicles and governments around the world legislate to reduce emissions," Mr. Allen added.
Mainstream automotive manufacturers who have already expressed interest in participating in this year's event include Suzuki, Mercedes Benz, Ford, Toyota, BMW, Hyundai, Audi, Mercedes, Holden, and Volvo.
Eco Challenge entrants will compete over set 'stages' with overnight stops at Katherine, Tennant Creek, Alice Springs, Coober Pedy, and Port Augusta.
Pre and post event public displays will be held in Darwin and Adelaide with an urban cycle for the Eco Challenge vehicles also to be conducted in the South Australian capital.
World Solar Challenge category vehicles will uniquely run as a single stage with competitors camping by the roadside wherever they finish as they power their way across the continent using nothing but energy from the sun's rays.