Solar powered car is ‘ultra efficient’

Plans for a solar powered racing car – which will cruise at 60mph using the same power as a hairdryer – have been unveiled by students at Cambridge University.

The car, codenamed Bethany, is being touted as Britain's brightest hope for the World Solar Challenge; a 3000km race across the Australian Outback.
While energy will be captured by 6m² of high efficiency silicon solar cells, the car will be an ultra efficient electric vehicle, which may provide a model for other forms of green transportation.
"At a time when the automotive industry is being forced to look at a low carbon future, our vehicle demonstrates the enormous potential of energy efficient electric vehicle technologies," said Anthony Law, manager of Cambridge University Eco Racing (CUER).
Using computer simulation software, the car's aerodynamics, rolling resistance, weight and electrical efficiency have been optimised to minimise its energy requirements. It will be fitted with an energy efficient hub motor, a control system to provide battery management and an electric braking system which generates energy.
It will weigh just 170kg and its creators estimate that it will require up to 50 times less power than a normal petrol fuelled vehicle.
CUER hopes the innovations in Bethany's design will enable it to put in the best ever performance by a UK manufactured vehicle.

Graham Pitcher

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