Video: The Wind Explorer has completed its 5000km journey across Australia, powered only by an electricity-generating wind turbine and a kite
German TV host Dirk Gion and engineer Stefan Simmerer recently completed a 5000km journey across Australia in the Wind Explorer, a lightweight electric vehicle powered only by electricity-generating wind turbine and a kite.
The pair broke three world records in the process: one for crossing a continent with a wind-powered vehicle for the first time, another for traveling the farthest in a wind-powered car over a 36 hour period, and a final one for the most distance ever covered by a wind-powered land vehicle.
The Wind Explorer is a wind-electromobile, open roadster for two which weighs in at 200 kilograms including batteries and wind turbine.
It combines state-of-the-art lithum-ion technology, lightweight carbon fiber sandwich technology, low friction tyres and an aerodynamic form. It is so efficient that the small wind turbine carried aboard can produce enough energy for a daily distance of 250 to 400km. By comparison, for a 100km stretch, the Wind Explorer reportedly needs roughly half the amount of electricity needed to wash and dry a load of wash.
To keep the electric Wind Explorer running, it was recharged overnight using a porable 20-foot wind turbine (it can also be plugged in in the absence of wind). They could also deploy a kite if the breeze was strong enough, and use it to pull the vehicle along, working like parasailing.