The Wind Explorer finished its 18-day, 3,100-mile trek across Australia this week, setting several records – including first wind-powered vehicle to cross a continent.
The Wind Explorer isn’t your average vehicle; it’s not even your average electric vehicle. The car is powered by an 8kWh lithium-ion battery, but instead of plugging the car into an outlet or charging station, it is recharged using a mobile wind turbine. There is a plug just in case it’s not windy enough.
The diminutive vehicle, weighing in at just 440 pounds, is made of carbon fiber and aluminum and has racing-bike tires. The goal of the Wind Explorer project was to prove that transportation can be self-sufficient and environmentally friendly, all while using technology that already exists.
The German adventurers that created the Wind Explorer, Stefan Simmerer and Dirk Gion, made it from Perth to Melbourne in a little over two weeks, reaching a top speed of 55 mph.