After imaginary Dream a plain that can fly with solar power came to rue now it SOLAR CARS TURN
On a remote road an hour out of Darwin, dozens of solar-powered cars have been pushed to the limits for the past two weeks.Some of them look like spaceships, or a car from the Jetsons.One black, sleek vehicle looks like an Adam West-era Batmobile.
They’re preparing for the World Solar Challenge, a biennial race from Darwin to Adelaide, which puts the best solar technology to the test.The small, one-person cars are part of the challenger class, where the aim is to finish the 3,000 kilometre course as soon as possible.But for only the second time, there is a new racing category – the cruiser class.
These are what could be the cars of tomorrow – solar-powered cars that can take passengers and do what consumers need them to. In theory, at least.”For every challenge we’re going to build a new car,” he said.
“I think we are well prepared for the race.”
With a top speed of about 140 kilometres per hour, it’s low, sleek design gives the drivers a thrill.”It’s a lot of fun, it’s like driving a go cart. [The steering] is really direct,” Schniewind said.
But while the cruiser class is all about imagining the cars of the future, the vehicles in this year’s race lack some comforting amenities.”There’s no air conditioning inside, it’s really hot. We need all the power for the engine,” Schniewind said.
He said while driving temperatures could reach 60 degrees Celsius, there was a team of drivers who took turns, but one driver could be in those conditions for up to four hours.Their main rivals are Team Eindhoven from the Netherlands.Their car, Stella Lux, is also a completely new machine.But while there has been huge technological advances in recent decades, it is unlikely solar-powered cars will be made commercially anytime soon.
“In Australia it might be possible to build these cars, but the cells are really expensive,” Schniewind said.
The teams begin the race to Adelaide on October 17.