Thursday, 24 July 2014
A lot of the EV research now is all about sustainability and battery tech.
University of Wisconsin students will have access to small electric cars for rent in the autumn as researchers prep a project focusing on sustainable transportation.
This is part of a larger study on sustainable transportation will be to evaluate various aspects of electric car usage, such as driving patterns and fuel consumption trends.
The project will also monitor trends in the usage of electric vehicle charging stations throughout the campus and city
Sunswift, a team of engineering students from the University of New South Wales, designed and built a car that holds the Guinness World Record for the fastest solar-powered vehicle.
In 2011, that car reached a top speed of 88 km/h (55 mph).
Its newest vehicle, eVe, is hoped will break a 20-year-old electric vehicle record for the highest average speed over a 500 km (310 mi) distance. The current record is 73 km/h (45 mph), and the Sunswift team is confident that eVe can beat that by a comfortable margin. For the record attempt on July 23, 2014, the car will only use a fully charged battery bank without help from its solar panels.
Speed vs. distance is one of the trade-offs with electric vehicles. Going fast increases drag, which decreases range. Many “novelty” solar cars are designed for high speeds while most commercial electric cars are optimized for long distances. The Sunswift team wants to create a practical solar electric car that can drive at sustained highway speeds while still providing a respectable range.
eVe is powered by a Li-ion battery pack, an enormous bank of off-the-shelf laptop computer batteries, that drives a pair of custom designed motors with a staggering 97% efficiency.
The motors were designed by the Australian national science agency, CSIRO. A solar array consisting of high efficiency flexible thin-film silicon PV cells provides up to 800 Watts of power on a sunny day. Regenerative braking replenishes the batteries, recovering up to 80% of the braking energy.
The car is capable of traveling 140 km/h (87 mph). Driving at highway speeds, eVe uses the equivalent power of a four-slice kitchen toaster. Its range is 800 km (500 mi) using the battery pack supplemented by the solar panels, and 500 km (310 mi) on battery power only.
The TeXtreme carbon fiber body keeps the car’s weight at a trim 300 kg (661 lbs). Its wheels are made of carbon fiber (front) and aluminum (rear).
The driver is the next big variable with such a light vehicle