We just happened to come across something cool via RSS and Google Reader: A solar-powered car that made it all the way to the Arctic Circle.
In order to get there, the car, driven by Marcelo da Luz and built by a lot of people who “come from all walks of life”, had to drive through plenty of rough terrain, including some extremely muddy, pothole-filled roads in Canada’s Northwest Territories (check out the video above to see this!).
Called the XOF1, da Luz’ solar-powered car boasts some impressive specs. For instance, it can go 0 to 50 mph in six seconds, has a top speed of 85 mph, and has a range of 310 miles on a bright, sunny day. Of course, the unique and record-breaking performance comes at a pretty steep price: da Luz estimates it cost about $500,000 to build the XOF1.
In fact, the XOF1 is a solar-powered/solar-charged hybrid vehicle. That is, it’s equipped with a bank of Li-Ion Polymer batteries that can store enough solar-generated electricity to power it more than 100 miles without any sun at all.
According to the XOF1 web site, the XOF1 is the first electric vehicle to reach the Arctic Circle, not once - but twice.
Travelling through much of Canada and the United States, including Alaska, it more than doubled the previous world distance record, clocking in at 22,436.3 miles (36,220.5 km).
Solar car on Canada's Ice Road
It also was the first EV to drive on an ice road and the first EV to cross the longest continuous ice road in the world. What makes its achievements even more remarkable is the fact it ran on sunshine as fuel, using less energy than what shines on the roof of a typical garage. It was never plugged into the grid; it used no man made electricity whatsoever.
That’s just plain cool, as is the YouTube video -- just posted to YouTube on April 6, 2012 -- at the top of this entry. The video’s only been viewed by a handful of people, and it definitely deserves more views than it’s gotten.
Maybe SolarChargedDriving.Com readers can help make it go viral :-) If not, at least we can enjoy watching an inspirational clip while trying to spread the word about the power of the sun which, thanks to EV technology, has the capacity to power much of the global the transportation sector.
In fact, some of the YouTube videos about the XOF1 have gotten a lot more than 10 views, including the clip below, which has more than 2,000 views, and which offers a good overview of the XOF1 and its driver. Check it out!
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