• Video
  • Jul 22nd 2013 at 7:57PM
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The Circuit Of The Americas racetrack in Austin, Texas plays host to all manner of racing machinery, from Formula 1 to MotoGP. That said, the Formula Sun Grand Prix isn't like most other series that run at COTA – these cars are powered by nothing but the sun. Which team can go furthest and fastest using solar energy is determined over a three-day period, and the competition is steep.

The crew from Translogic made it down to COTA for the FSGP, and the resulting video is well worth a watch. After all, these vehicles are capable of lapping the race track at 55 miles per hour using less power than a hairdryer, according to the video. The winning team lapped COTA 193 times for a total of 661 miles of racing. Impressive, no? Well, that's what happens when you put a lot of nerds in a room and try to build a solar car, according to one of the competitors.

For all the sunny goodness, we suggest you check out the video below.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      Giza Plateau
      • 8 Months Ago
      UFOs are real and the internet will ensure we will have our arab spring on that so photovoltaic cars is not the future. Not even close :) But it is a romantic notion to sail on the sun.
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Giza Plateau
        Wow, thanks for that uplifting and enlightening bit of info, Giza. Anymore cheery stories? Man was not suppose to fly or go to the moon either. Pretty cool to see them go around the track. Driving one of those around town would be atmospheric-shade- range-anxiety.
      • 8 Months Ago
      This is a great video, it would be cool if some of these kids moved on to work on Formula E cars. I am not sure if Formula E allows solar panels... The added energy might not be enough for them to bother with. 1kW of power equates to 1-2kWh generated during a race which could power a leaf 5-10 miles but it would probably only push a Formula E car 1-2miles.
        • 8 Months Ago
        And there we have it. Every once in a while, we hear from some flake saying how awesome it would be to cover a Leaf with solar panels so it can charge in a parking lot or while it drives or something. Assuming that the car is sitting in your parking lot at work, for 8 hours at 930 watts (which is a high estimate, you'd only get that for about 2 hours around noon, and it also assumes you can even achieve that much with the space you have), you'd generate 7.4 kWh, or about a 30% charge. Of course, it would be a bit *cheaper* to just put a grid-connected charger in the parking lot at work, nevermind how you'd get a full charge in those 8 hours. :)
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