Sunswift the University of NSW Solar Car team has unveiled their new entry for the 2013 World Solar Challenge being held in October.
The new solar-powered 5th generation car, named eVe, will compete in the 3000 kilometre race from Darwin to Adelaide which runs every second year and attracts international competitors. The eVe is refreshingly car like and nothing like your typical Solar Challenge cars which look like cut down single person pizza boxes on wheels.
The car is entered in the Cruiser Class which requires theability to carry a driver and passenger (both facing forward) and provides the ability to recharge overnight which is a pretty good use case for a Solar car in real life.
It has solar panels on its hood and roof, and a yellow-racing stripe along the side. If you could combine this sort of approach with the Transparent Solar Cells produced recently by MIT researchers this could turn into a reality.
This goal of the Michelin Cruiser Class is not speed but practicality, with the ultimate goal of an entrant being able to meet the requirements for road registration in the country of origin.
This is fantastic news as it gives me an opportunity to post pictures of awesome cars. I love car porn and it seems to me that for a pre-production prototype the Sunswift eVe actually looks pretty good up against some of the worlds most admired cars.
The goal was to create a more “human-friendly” car, said mechanical engineering student Sam Paterson, the project manager.
“We wanted to create the sort of car you could drive anywhere, all while keeping the design cool and producing zero emissions,” he said. “We think this car is a symbol for a new era of sustainable driving in Australia.”
The Sunswift team that designed and built the car is composed of undergraduate business and engineering students from UNSW. It’s the team’s fifth solar racer since being formed in 1996 by its original members.
In 2011, Sunswift’s fourth generation car set a world record, becoming the fastest solar-powered vehicle, reaching a top speed of 88 km/hour. It was the team’s second world record so its likely this one will be faster but the team have not officially released any data on speed or range.
The team raised more than $27,000 through a Pozible crowd funding campaign earlier this year, and say the extra money will help them compete against teams with bigger budgets from universities such as MIT and Stanford.
The car will hit the road for the first in September for track testing before heading to the Northern Territory for the race.
It’s not hard to see this sort of car morphing into a working prototype, maybe the guys at Lamborghini can tap Sunswift for their technology and implement it into their prototypes.
In my opinion it has more is a great step forward to bringing solar-powered cars to reality. I know that initially this will take time but it looks like a real car and can apparently do a decent speed. Given most trips in urban areas are probably no more than 50km per day, running this with an overnight charge from a Solar Panel on your roof makes a lot of sense to me. Imagine a situation where you pay nothing to run your call.
I have already converted over to rainwater and now get $ zero bills for water, (cant tell you how good that feels), I am planning to convert to solar with a big bank of batteries sometime in the next year to get free of the grid and inevitable price rises that will continue indefinitely. To be able to covert my car to solar or electric/hybrid would get me free of the 3 major cost of living increases for the last 20 years and for the foreseeable future.
Awesome job guys, hope this turns into something much bigger for the team.