A remarkable story of how experience from the World Solar Challenge, the solar car race from Darwin to Adelaide, led to a solar-powered trip around the world and the development of light-weight solar taxis that will save lives in Africa.
We talk with Andrew Dickson from CWP Renewables and Peter Pudney from the University of South Australia about their collaboration – firstly on a two seater renewable energy vehicle (TREV) that visited the UN climate conference and drove around the world for $400 of electricity costs, and now on a new project to deliver lightweight solar taxis to Africa, to help save lives by offering transport to hospitals to people who have no other means.
They received a call out of the blue from Africa, asking for help to reduce maternal mortality with a solar powered electric vehicle. A few years later, the first solar taxi in nearly complete – showcasing a design that underlines the importance of low mass for electric vehicles.
It minimises energy use, which minimises the size and cost of solar charging infrastructure and makes possible the off-grid transport solution for the African solar taxi project.
You can listen to our previous TheDriven podcasts with Tony Seba and Alan Finkel here, or on your favourite podcast platform.