Racing with the sunMolly Wood visits the University of California at Berkeley racing team, grabs a helmet, and takes a ride in its 100 percent solar-powered race car.
This is impulse the creation of the -- all racing team it is a 100%. Solar powered race car. It has a top speed of about 78 miles an hour although the team tells me that they won't go that fast again. It's usually driven right around thirty miles per hour and even that is a little faster than I was willing to go. Now my favorite part come -- time some part of the team and pray. Okay we'll. -- the problem. -- The port -- -- -- Forget the sun is shining I'm sending -- like a sausage and strapped in and then they're gonna close the lid and and -- -- -- -- -- -- There knowing they. In the future cars will obviously need to be. Need more energy efficient -- We're already seeing more efficient cars today like electric vehicles and -- solar -- making those electric vehicle. More efficient. Ready to be freed. -- was its its. Pretty actually attendance -- electric cars are how many progressed to. It health problems are next time they -- for -- -- forgotten what it feels like to have full range of motion pictures. As I actually about the blasted through -- -- -- it handles like a dream. -- that it does we were -- and unattractive and it can take corners better than real cars it's really surprisingly responsive yet. So where's all this research headed into actual street cars this technology you could apply directly to something like a Tesla Roadster. You could panel the top of the vehicle with solar panels and then that would give you an extra boost and range. So you would be able to go another 3400 miles on a charge. Later this summer the county will take this car on a three day track race against other schools. The goal of the race to see -- lasts the longest. Then -- followed up with an 18100 mile road trip. These races are an experiment in green -- they're testing the limits of what a solar -- can -- So tell me about what's going on with a scarlet -- -- what are the specs here. So starts with the solar array which is offering now so we can look at the car and then the solar array comes into that box right there. And so this box is the power -- sensor that takes the energy from the sun and converts it into actual energy that we can use it at the right voltage and power. And that's just standard solar energy collection everyone's pretty familiar and yet that's fairly familiar from that it goes into our battery box. So you can hear all these white strips are batteries. They give as a full power of 44 empowers incidental runs about three hours into the night with no political power from a sun and what kind of batteries I think. -- these are lithium ion and -- a sales. And so that goes directly into this box right down here this is the motor controller okay so our motor is actually a three phase one point six horsepower motor. This electric motor that is actually in the real right back there one point six horsepower yet that doesn't thunderous car. It doesn't sound very race -- but it's been fine for us word we're built for efficiency -- It's a lower horsepower means that we can go with a lot less power. It's hotter place and here. And Tesla Roadster went out of the range anxiety that's nice actually -- -- -- -- come out now. Count me drive and I'm not a -- market like riding on our. -- --