Solar cars, for the most part, have merely been test projects, nothing that anyone would actually drive anywhere.
One small group in Australia thinks otherwise, and is planning to move into normal-car territory. University of South Wales in Sydney, Australia, has a team of students from all walks of academia, including engineering, business, science, and industrial design, to name a few, that has been working on solar cars since 1995. Sunswift’s solar cars have been the typical space-ship on wheels concept designs that have worked wonderfully demonstrating solar power in vehicles, but not very much good for anything beyond proof of concept.
This year, Sunswift is looking to make a solar car that the average person might be able to drive on the street instead of a test track. That being said, the Sunswift Eve solar car is more conventional in that it has doors, four wheels, and is designed to be safe and practical. There are no specifications on the new vehicle, but I can’t wait to see what they come up with. Sunswift is raising the last $20,000A on Pozible.com, a crowdfunding site, to finish the car and enter it in the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge, a 3,000km race to be held this October. The only requirement? Solar Power Only.
Some interesting items on the shopping list: Solar Cells $20,000, Carbon-Fiber Shell $100,000, Lithium-ion Battery $30,000, Electric Motor 97% Efficiency $20,000. OK, so maybe this isn’t a car that all of us can drive, at least not yet. We already have a solar boat, so why not a solar car?