Wind Explorer – Click above to watch video after the jump

Proving that the wind energy works for more than just sailboats, the Wind Explorer, a lightweight electric vehicle, was propelled 3,107 miles across Australia by wind-generated electricity and a kite. During the 18-day journey, three world records were set. According to the website dedicated to the project:

The Wind Explorer... can claim the following high-performance firsts: never before has such a long distance been covered thoughly independent of external energy sources or fuels, never before has a vehicle powered solely by wind energy and electricity crossed an entire continent, [and] never before has a wind-powered vehicle covered a distance of 493,5 km [306 miles] within 36 hours.

The first 500 miles were grid-powered, but most of that was considered the testing or shakedown phase that happened before the 'real trip' started. The Wind Explorer has an 8 kWh lithium-ion battery pack which developers/drivers Stefan Simmerer and Dirk Gion charged overnight using a portable wind turbine. Fully charged, the vehicle has a 124-mile range, and 1,400 miles of the trip was traveled using the turbine-generated electricity. Under the right wind and road conditions, a kite directly powered the roadster. The team has a quick video showing the kite-powered vehicle in action that we've pasted after the break. Pretty impressive for a vehicle that Simmerer and Gion dreamed up in 2009 and started building just last year.

[Source: Treehugger | Image: Wind Explorer]

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