Is one of those summer days in last July that, while listening to the TV news, you hear talking about a team: Onda Solare (“Sun Wave”) with its Emilia4, was taking part in the American Solar Challenge, the American challenge for cars powered by solar energy. The Emilia4, a car that has brought the academic and industrial worlds together, the only European car to be admitted to the competition. Seeking news every single day, trying to know the position of the Italian team compared to the others from all over the world, and then the 22 July when the race is over: Italy is on top beating all the most prestigious international universities, like those from Minnesota and Waterloo (to name just two), winning the Mechanical Design Award and the Best Battery Pack Design Award, overcoming the MIT and Berkeley University.
All-Italian pride, for a mix of creativity, expertise and passion that resulted in a 3000 km journey from Nebraska to Oregon fuelled solely by the energy of the sun. Since energy is a good story, especially in cases like this, the only thing to do was to get to talk with someone of the team and try to tell it… but how? Let’s start with a web search – they have a Facebook page… OK, I’ll try to write, let’s see what happens! Fiorenzo replies to me in just a few minutes (sorry again for calling you Federico in the first e-mail); a quick exchange followed by a chat over the phone, which it’s quicker. This gave me the opportunity to talk with two of the guys taking part in the race, Stefano Maglio, team leader, and Cristiano Fragassa, head of the project, from the University of Bologna.