Fossil-fuelled cars are unsustainable: oil is running out, and CO2 emissions are too high.
Conventional cars also use a lot of energy. Try pushing one. The larger and heavier the car, the harder it is to move and the more energy it uses. Typically, less than 15% of the energy that reaches the wheels is used to move the occupants; the rest is used to move the machine.
Most of the time, we use our cars to travel short distances in slow city traffic with only one or two people in the car. But we do it in cars that are capable of carrying four or five people across a continent at 100 km/h or more, and towing a boat or caravan at the same time.
We need something new. Something appropriate for city mobility.
Automotive companies are developing electric versions of conventional cars. Recharged using renewable energy, these cars will have no CO2 emissions. But they are still large, heavy cars, and still use a lot of energy.
Rather than take a conventional car and try to make it clean, our approach has been to take a clean, low energy vehicle—a solar racing car—and make it practical. Solar racing cars can cross a continent at 100 km/h powered only by sunlight, so it should not be too hard to build a clean, efficient vehicle that can transport someone to work and back each day.
- carry one or two people
- travel at urban freeway speeds, up to 120 km/h
- acceleration and handling comparable to conventional cars
- low mass (less than 350 kg is not that difficult)
- low aerodynamic drag (drag is significant in a low-energy car)
- simple (because it was going to be built by novices)
- recharged using renewable energy.
Trev. Low energy, zero emission mobility.