Driving a car that’s powered completely by the sun might seem impractical now. But thanks to an engineering team in Sydney, Australia, it might happen sooner than you think.
They designed a new solar-powered car – called eVe – for the World Solar Challenge. And they built it unlike any other solar-powered car you’ve likely seen before. Because, well, it’s actually drivable!
Indeed, since the car more closely resembles a standard automobile, its designers want to get it registered to drive on city roads.
As Mechanical Engineer, Kris Harrison, says, “At the beginning of this challenge, what we were aiming for is to develop a car which the public could align themselves with, and actually envisage themselves driving around the street. Instead of having the standard solar-powered cars, which look like a blimp and have no boot space or anything practical.”
Of course, the question is, how well does it drive?
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Well, the team’s Project Manager, Sam Paterson, was first to drive eVe. And he seems happy so far…
“The brakes work very well. The steering’s quite responsive. Vision is reasonable,” says Paterson.
The car isn’t limited to city streets, either. Since eVe can hit upwards of 87 miles per hour, it’s good to go on the open road, too. Not bad, considering that it’s only fueled by the sun’s rays.
The next step is to install headlights and side impact protection to get eVe certified as roadworthy. “We’ve actually gone to the point of having it almost ready to register before the race,” says Paterson. “After the race we’ll have a little bit of work to do so we can drive it on a public street.”
So don’t be surprised if you see eVe cruising around your neighborhood at some point in the near future.