The car that runs on sunshine


Sick of forking out to fill your car with petrol? European carmaker Venturi may have the vehicle for you. The firm, based in Monaco, has unveiled what it says is the world’s first commercially-available, high-performance solar vehicle, capable of speeds up to 120 km/h.


Dont’ forget your sunnies! Driver and passenger
sit in tandem, in the middle of the solar panel.


Unveiled at the 2006 Paris Motor Show, the Astrolab looks a cross between a Formula 1 racing vehicle and the hot water panel from your neighbour’s roof.

Spread over its ultra-lightweight chassis are 3.6 m2 of efficient solar cells covered with what the company says is a ”unique nano-prismic film”.

It claims the two combine to efficently harness the power of the sun, storing it as electricity in on-board batteries. The batteries then drive the vehicle’s 21-horsepower electric motor. The batteries can also be recharged from the electricity grid.

Venturi claims the vehicle, which has a range of 110 km, is carbon neutral.

”This is (the) very first vehicle that consumes no (fossil fuels) in order to work,” it boasts on its website. ”The emissions of CO2 required for its construction will even be compensated for by environmental actions.”

The vehicles may be available for delivery as early as 2008, at a price of about $150,000.

Source: The Sydney Morning Herald  

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