A Queensland racing and research team is moving to be the world’s first manufacturer of solar cars requiring road registration based on a report by ABC News.
The car will cost more than $250,000 and may not even have air-conditioning. Cameron Tuesley, Clenergy Team Arrow founder, stated that the prototype vehicle being built for next year’s World Solar Challenge would be used to develop a model for commercial purposes. The race will run for about 3,000 km from Darwin to Adelaide.
Mr. Tuesley said that there have been similar cars registered before, but this car will be the first one designed from day one to be a road-registered and road-legal vehicle. The car has been designed together with specialists from the Department of Transport. He also added that the idea of being able to buy one or own one is absolutely world-first.
The solar car project is backed by the Queensland government, which is providing the team a site and workshop facilities in Brisbane’s Eagle Farm over the next 4 years.
The 2017 model’s design is a very different from its predecessor, which is the Arrow 1, the team’s 2015 World Solar Challenge race car. The previous model has a tiny slot for the driver, no boot or feet room. Arrow 1 is the world’s fastest single-seater solar car, which is capable of driving up to 126 km/h and can run using less power than a toaster.
According to Mr. Tuesley, while the car air-conditioning was not included, it is being considered. They are seriously looking at it, but air-conditioning requires lots of power.
The Clenergy Team Arrow is planning to have the car travel between 300km to 400km with fully a charged battery, with a cruising speed of 110km/hr, without the need for the sun’s energy.
Mr. Tuesley said if the car proved to be popular, the price would surely come down because more will be produced. He said that they have already taken a few orders.