A group of Australian scientists are planning to circle the continent in Elon Musk’s electric car as part of the Charge Around Australia project. As planned, the car will be powered exclusively by solar energy. The purpose of this undertaking is to push the public to take steps that will help prevent climate change.
The trip is scheduled for September this year. The researchers intend to overcome about 15,000 km. They intend to replenish the energy of the electric car at the expense of 18 printed solar panels, each of which is 18 meters long. It is indicated that the entire electric generating set fits in a suitcase and weighs about 45 kg.
Rolled solar panel sheets are made from laminated layers of PET plastic. The same material is used in the manufacture of water bottles. Paul Dastuor, project manager, says the panels can be produced at an extremely low cost of less than $10 per square meter. During their 84-day journey, Dastuor’s team intends to test not only the endurance of the panels, but also their potential performance for other applications in other areas.
“It’s really the perfect testbed to give us an idea of how we’ll use and power technology in other remote places like space,” says Paul Dastuor.
He hopes the use of solar panels to power the car will spur Australians to opt for electric vehicles more often and reduce their “range anxiety”.