The Days are near when we would be seeing electric and solar powered cars on the road. Gas prices have gone high and people need a replacement product soon. Would Solar Powered cars offer the same performance as that of a gasoline one? Yes, nearly, as a car by the name of Violet has sprung up which can achieve a top speed of 81mph, – on solar power!
The car is engineered by a team of engineers who are currently the students of Sydney’s University of New South Wales (UNSW). The car was developed was initially to race amongst many other solar-powered cars in the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge which spans out to a whopping 3000 km.
‘Violet’ engineered by the Sunswift team operates solely on solar power and provides seats for 4 people. This isn’t the first car manufactured by the Sunswift team but rather the 6th since there have been 5 before this one. Each car outnumbered the previous one due to its practicality, durability, and speed.
As for the challenge, it was quite intuitive. Innovative teams from all over the world competed together in a 3021 km that extended from Darwin to Adelaide and took place on Sunday, October 8th, the past year. Competing against 47 teams amongst 21 countries is a tough task, but then that’s what every good competition is.
For the tech-savvy, the car can achieve a top speed of 81 mph (130 km/h) and can run for 800 km only using solar panels attached to its roof. In case the sun isn’t out, it isn’t a big deal for the car since its modular lithium-ion battery can store power from the sun, meaning that the car can run for at least 400km with its solar batteries fully charged.
According to Simba Kuestler who happens to be the team leader of Sunswift, the car is extremely efficient, running on “as much power as a four-slice toaster.”
As for horsepower, it stands at 7 kW at 68 mph (110 km/h). On top of that, there are two 1.5 kW motors with an operating efficiency of 98 percent! The curb weight isn’t that much too since the weight of the monocoque twill carbon-fiber chassis is even less than 400 kg. Furthermore, courtesy of an aerodynamic shape, the drag coefficient is also below 0.2. This drag coefficient is better than most of the cars out there in the industry.
Teams from notable countries competed in the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge from Australia, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Iran, Japan, Malaysia, Netherlands’ Stella Vie, Poland, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, and Turkey.
The Challenge was won by a Dutch Team by the name of Nuon Solar. Therefore, tough luck to the Sunswift team.
Nevertheless, these innovations show how much technology has developed over the years, and what we might be expecting in the future.