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Solar Wind Powered Vehicle - First Energy Autonomous Production Car

Every car company in America, and most of the rest of the world, thinks they are going "green". This is the first sample I've seen of a car company truly producing an environmentally friendly car. The French company, Venturi, produce three vehicles; a completely electric sports car, a solar electric hybrid, and this, the first autonomous energy vehicle. It's capable of running exclusively on solar and wind energy. Solar energy is actually captured as vehicle drives. While parked the vehicle can capture wind energy and solar. In emergencies, you can plug in the vehicle and obtain a full charge in only five hours.

While it certainly isn't the solution for all of our energy concerns, and frankly, it isn't sexy, it is the first production car that could run completely exclusive of fossil fuel. Additionally, the company is carbon neutral so even the production of the vehicle is offset.

They are currently producing 20 units as demonstrators. Starting in March of 2008 they will produce 200 more units.

Here's some information borrowed from their website, along with a fancy little slideshow I made.

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Of decidedly original design, this is a vehicle that has no desire to look like other cars which depend on “black gold” : priority has been given to integration of the photovoltaic cells which compose its translucid roof.

Eclectic thus does not pass unnoticed in traffic: its elevated central driving position offers exceptional panoramic vision and considerable space, for both driver and passengers.

Eclectic’s message is loud and clear: this is not an ordinary car, but an avant-garde way of getting around. Owning an Eclectic is also a personal commitment : it means changing one’s way of getting from one place to another by exchanging one’s role as a “consumer” for that of a “producer” and this, in the general interest.

Its designer Sacha Lakic describes Eclectic as : “a modern, autonomous and intelligent automobile. The energy that drives it exists all around it : it simply has to deploy its wind turbine, expose its solar cells or, if necessary, find a simple electric plug. It is usual practice to “stylise” a car. In the case of Eclectic, its contours were born of an approach to design. Its appearance reflects its function. Its silhouette pays homage to certain icon-cars such as the Lunar Rover, Mini-Moke and Méhari. Though its technology positions it clearly in the present and, above all, the future”.

Venturi marks a new era in technological history by launching the production of Eclectic, an urban 3-seater electro-solar vehicle which goes well beyond anything offered so far by car manufacturers of today :

  • 1st vehicle powered by renewable energies ;

  • 1st solar production vehicle (2.5 m2 of photovoltaic cells) ;

  • 1st vehicle that can be directly recharged with a personal wind turbine ;

Eclectic is thus the vehicle with the least possible impact on the environment.

Unlike other vehicles which are not used for over 90% of the time, Eclectic takes advantage of moments of immobilization to store energy in its batteries; contrary to a petrol tank, this energy reserve remains available for other uses. It’s well worth betting that one day, and at national level, this could comprise a considerable reserve of energy which could compensate for breakdowns in the production of electricity as already seen, for example, in California.

Available as an option with last-generation NiMH (NIV-7) batteries (liquid cooled), Eclectic offers a range up to 50 km at a speed of 50 km/hr (electronically restricted), which suffices largely to cover daily movements in urban areas.

The share of solar recharging is approximately 7 km per day of exposure.

When using electricity, a full recharge requires 5 hrs using a standard connection (16 A) or 3 hrs with 2 onboard chargers (optional).

Finally, as an option, Eclectic can be recharged with a wind turbine, set up on the ground next to the car. It is small and light enough to be carried easily. In this case, the share of recharging is approximately 15 km per day in windy areas.



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