Clean Power

Published on June 29th, 2013 | by Important Media Cross-Post


Sunswift Eve Looking To Manufacture Mass Market Solar Cars

June 29th, 2013 by  

This article first appeared on Gas2
by Christopher Demorro


The ultimate wet dream of electric vehicle enthusiasts is a solar-powered car that looks, feels, and performs like a conventional gas-powered automobile. The Sunswift Eve is the latest solar car effort from the University of New South Wales, taking years of solar racing experience and loading it into a car designed for the mainstream.

Solar-powered cars have been around for decades, though mostly they have raced back and forth across the Australian Outback in low-speed races with funky-looking rides.The University of New South Wales Sunswift team has participated in these races since 1995, fielding four different solar-powered vehicles and even winning the 2009 World Solar Challenge silicon class. This is a team with plenty of experience drawing performance from the sun.

Taking that racing experience and translating it into a road-going automobile is something major carmakers do all the time. While performance details haven’t been mentioned yet, it basically looks to be a lightweight fiberglass couple-style body covered in solar panels and sporting a very aerodynamic design. It’ll be interesting to see what kind of performance they can draw out of this thing.

Could we see legitimate solar-powered cars in our lifetime? Seems a bit ambitious and too sci-fi, but it has to start somewhere, and maybe the Sunswift Eve points the way forward.

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  • Ronald Brakels

    This will work in Australia. I don’t drive that much so an electric car covered in solar panels would get enough energy from the sun to meet my normal driving needs provided I parked it in a sunny spot. I’d just need 20 or so kilometers battery range so I can get home at night. And no more worries about sunshine fading the car paint. This car eats sunshine. (Of course, how practical it would be for most people would depend on its characteristics.)

  • Chris McLeod

    This looks like a great start, now, there is no reason the people inside shouldn’t also pedal!

    • Kyle Field

      Pedaling fails the mass market appeal. It could be a great starter option and hey…if you have to pedal to get the total power output that ya need…go for it but it wont go mass. I like that they are pushing the envelope and can’t wait to see what others come up with building on this. more efficient aerodynamics, more efficient batteries (lighter!), more efficient solar panels (CPV), more efficient motors…once we get there, the thing will probably work for just about any country other than america.

      For it to work in america, you will NEED the pedal version – first to generate the power to haul around the extra mass of our fat butts and second to help us to cut weight to get the power to weight ratio back to what it is for the rest of the world. Heck…I think a whole indian family (from India) could be lugged around for each average american.

      Ok, I’m done 😛

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