Creating the world’s most efficient solar electric car – video

Electric vehicles

Speaker 1: This is the infinite solar car. Its narrow, streamlined shape and lightweight carbon fiber exterior help the engine achieve over 98% maximum efficiency. That’s 2% more than a Tesla and 40% more than a traditional internal combustion engine. This Belgian-designed solar car took home the top prize at the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge 2023. If you’re trying to come up with the design of the world’s most efficient solar-powered vehicle, what better way than to turn it into a competition Every two years the engineering [00:00:30] teams from around the world pool their solar-powered EV creations and pit them against each other over 3,000 kilometers, or about 1,860 miles. As we saw with the aptera I had the opportunity to drive last year, lightweight and energy-efficient design is important in solar-powered cars to make incorporating solar technology worthwhile. Speaker 1: Hence the unique designs featured in the World Solar Challenge 2023. This year the competition was held in the Australian outback. Competing solar vehicles received five kilowatts [00:01:00] hours of stored energy. This is about 10% of what is needed for the distance of about 1,860 miles. The remaining 90% must come from the sun alone or from the kinetic energy of the vehicle itself. For example, how some cars use energy from the brakes to recharge the battery. Vehicles in the World Solar Challenge are divided into three classes. The Challenger Cruiser and Adventure Challenger class vehicles travel the full 3000 kilometers, stopping each evening at 5:00 pm making camp [00:01:30] wherever they are. Cruiser-class vehicles cover the same distance in parts that must meet specific time goals, accommodate at least two people, and ultimately receive a practicality rating based on things like design, environmental impact, ease of use, controls for passenger comfort, features, style, and more. Speaker 1: Finally, adventure classes, where cars made in previous races can come back for another round. This year, 31 solar-powered cars left the starting line, 23 in the Challenger class and eight [00:02:00] in cruiser class. Only 12 made it to the final. First place in the Challenger class was Belgium and Optus Infinite with an average overall speed of around 55mph. The addition of a retractable fin at the top allows the car to sail with the wind instead of fighting it. This may have helped an Optus solar team gain an advantage during the reportedly high winds. Team Entente from the Netherlands came second with the Red X, the team’s first monocoque car, and solar team Brunell came third with the Nuna 12, featuring [00:02:30] an asymmetrical design with two bodies and an AI-designed image on the side. Suns SWT seven which weighs about a quarter of what the Tesla does. Speaker 1: Took the top prize in the cruiser category and broke the Guinness World Record for fastest EV over 1,000 kilometers on a single charge. It is followed by the UMS vehicle Gaia in second place and the Estonian Solar ride two in third. Pitting these vehicles against each other in competition helps test and develop new types of batteries, solar cells and aerodynamic designs. [00:03:00] some of which are provided by large companies and others are made by student engineers. It also provides a training ground for engineering students to test, hone and flex their skills on whether solar-powered cars will become mainstream. That’s a much bigger question, and we’ll have to see how charge-leading solar cars like the zero light year, sono cion, and Aptera deliver the promised efficiency and convenience, and how they’re received by drivers. As always, thanks so much for watching. I’m your host, Jesse Orl. see you [00:03:30] next time with the fan.

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