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Sunday, March 6, 2011

Wind Powered Electric Quadricycle Crosses Australia [Video]



The Wind Explorer, a 200kg hub motor powered Quadricycle, arrived in Sydney after travelling more than 5000km across Australia from Perth, via Adelaide and Melbourne, at a cost of just $16.

The car is a prototype built by Dirk Gion and Stefan Simmerer over about six months in Germany and is powered by an 8 kWh lithium-ion battery pack that is charged overnight through a mobile wind turbine.

"We wanted to prove how good the technology is," Mr Gion said in Sydney.

"There are a lot of sceptical people and we wanted to show them how efficient you can make it."

The carbon emissions-free Wind Explorer is a very compact, low to the ground pod-shaped car that would be dwarfed in size by any ordinary car.

It's also extremely light - free of passengers it weighs about 200kg, against the average car which weights about a tonne.

During their journey across Australia, which took about three weeks, Mr Gion and Mr Simmerer attracted many curious onlookers.

"Once we explained the technology behind the car and people had a look inside for themselves, everybody liked the idea," said Mr Gion.

"People are ready for this technology. They want to have it and use it." The prototype Wind Explorer has only been seriously tested in Australia so far. But Mr Gion is confident that a "wind powered" car will one day be offered to the public.

"I think in 20 years down the road, it will be completely different," he said.

"There will be so many electric cars in the cities that we will walk through the cities with no noise and no pollution and I think that is good."

The 'car' is fitted with a single 1 kw hub motor powering one rear wheel. It is constructed using carbon fiber sandwich technology, uses low friction tires and is design for minimal aero drag. The chassis without battery pack weighs in at just 90kg. The battery pack itself also weighs 90kg.

Average power consumption was just 2.0 KW/h for 100 km which equals 20 wh/km or 32 wh/mile. For reference a Chevy Volt consumes approx 250 wh/mi in EV mode.

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