The Development of the Wind-Powered Car

flying kite

As a result of the wide range of environmental issues that the world has seen in the past several decades, professionals with auto careers are constantly on the lookout for innovative sustainable energy sources to power their cars. Automotive giants, like Tesla Motors, have already introduced the world to all-electric vehicles and have actually managed to create a competitive market for such environmentally-friendly cars. However, there are several other hidden energy sources that have yet to generate much popularity and attention from the automotive industry, among these is wind-powered vehicles.

Graduates of mechanic colleges know that the key to reducing fuel consumption and enhancing speed is reducing a vehicle’s weight, and wind-powered cars are actually capable of doing just that. In fact, just recently, a lightweight, wind-powered vehicle actually succeeded in travelling 3000 miles (approximately 4830 km) across Australia, while operating on three main sources of energy—none of them being fuel. If you plan to enroll in a mechanic program, you will definitely want to learn more about this car in particular, as you might one day be presented with the opportunity to further develop its power source.

Evonik Wind Explorer

Evonik Industries, one of the world’s leading specialty chemicals companies, built an electric vehicle that differs from all the rest. The vehicle’s energy efficiency is derived from the lightweight materials that make up its body, as well as the rubber formulation that reduces the rolling resistance of its tires. And, this car is actually powered by three distinct energy sources, these include:

  1. A portable wind turbine
  2. A kite
  3. An electricity grid

What is most impressive about this vehicle is the fact that after travelling the already mentioned 3000 miles, it actually only used an amazing $15 worth of electricity from the electricity grid. The kite’s power was the energy source responsible for pulling the vehicle for approximately 10 – 15 per cent of the time that it was in movement.

Check out this video of the Wind Explorer in action:

Weight Distribution

While Evonik’s Wind Explorer may not be completely ready for street use just yet, it definitely serves as a great example of how reducing any vehicle’s weight—even if the vehicle is powered by fuel— can not only improve its efficiency, or reduce its power usage, but it can also improve the vehicle’s safety. How? By reducing its braking distance and in turn, the amount of time it takes the driver to come to a complete stop. How light is the Wind Explorer exactly? It boasts a total weight of almost 1000 lbs., driver and passenger included—the wind turbine is responsible for 70 lbs., the batteries (or electricity grid) weigh 200 lbs., and the carbon fibre body weighs 200 lbs.

Would you like to see wind-powered vehicles on the road one day?

Categories: ATC News, Surrey
Tags: auto careers, Mechanic colleges, Mechanic program

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