A mysterious solar car was spotted on the University of Melbourne campus last week by a pair of very excited scientists who tweeted to us at The Driven to share their find.
— Laszlo Frazer (@laszlo_science) November 15, 2018
The sighting was of particular interest to Lazslo and fellow researcher Timothy Schmidt from UNSW – both are involved in photovoltaics research aimed at improving the efficiency of solar panels.
While inner machinations of exciton science is something of a mystery to us mere reporters here at The Driven, we did do a little digging to find out more about the curious solar car, which of course can be assumed to be electric, and by the looks of it, self-charging.
There are a few solar cars out and about, including of course contenders for the World Solar Challenge such as Germany’s Sonnenwagen which will head here in 2019 to face some of the toughest racing conditions on the planet.
Germany is also the home of solar carmaker Sono Motors, who a few months ago announced orders were being taken worldwide for their innovative Sion EV.
The origin of the one spotted in Melbourne though is still a secret, however.
According to a spokesperson from University of Melbourne School of Engineering, it is “an applied electric vehicle” that is part of a testbed for AIMES (Australian Integrated Multimodal EcoSystem).
AIMES are in the process of conducting a series of world first tests that involve among other things, connected intersections using sensors, cameras and LiDAR, which they hope to develop with a series of partners to reduce collisions and improve pedestrian safety (we are planning to delve deeper into this in coming weeks).
Unfortunately the School of Engineering’s spokesperson could not share much more details than this at this time; stand by for more news and info about this exciting solar car in early 2019!
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She specialises in writing about new technology and has been writing about electric vehicles for two years. She has a keen interest in the role that zero emissions transport has to play in sustainability and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum.