University of Cambridge Unveiled Solar Car (July 18, 2009) — Cambridge University Eco Racing (CUER) team’s new solar racing car demonstrates cutting-edge environmentally-friendly technology, applicable to the next generation of electric vehicles.

cambridge-university-solar-carThis solar-powered car cruises at 60mph. It weighs just 170kg and its creators estimate that it requires up to fifty times less power than a normal petrol-fuelled vehicle.

The car is being touted as Britain’s brightest hope for the Global Green Challenge – a gruelling 3,000km race straight across the Australian Outback this autumn. At present, transportation accounts for about 35% of the UK’s energy use, so this solar car can make a big impact on climate change.

It is previously codenamed “Bethany”, but launched under its official name, “Endeavour”. It is named after the famous ship with which Captain Cook sailed from England to Australia.

The car’s power comes entirely from solar energy captured by a 6m² covering of high-efficiency silicon cells. Underneath this solar “skin”, however, the car is essentially an ultra-efficient electric vehicle, which designers say could provide a model for other forms of green transportation.

This car is fitted with an energy-efficient hub motor, a control system to provide battery management and an electric braking system which generates energy. Using computer simulation software, the car’s aerodynamics, rolling resistance, weight and electrical efficiency have all been optimised to minimise its energy requirements.

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