Wind-powered car sets records in a 3,100-mile road test

Digital Trends

Two German inventors have created an electric vehicle that recharges the battery through a wind turbine carried in the car. To test the vehicle, the duo recently completed a 3,100-mile trek across Australia.

It is almost like German adventurers Dirk Gion and Stefan Simmerer saw the latest models of electric cars, and decided to see if they could go out and make the manufacturers feel bad. In a move that will have green aficionados cheering and gearheads gently weeping at the state of the world, a new electric car powered by a wind turbine has just been unleashed into the Australian wilds.

View gallery

.

The vehicle, known as the Wind Explorer, uses an electric battery similar to those found in most of the current generation of electric cars like the Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf, but rather than needing to plug in every night, the Wind Explorer comes standard with a 20-foot retractable bamboo mast that holds a wind turbine to charge the battery. The Wind Runner can also be powered—or perhaps more accurately “dragged”—by a kite, assuming of course that there is ample wind. The result is a lightweight electric car that weighs under 500 pounds and has a top speed of 55 miles an hour, all with close to zero emissions.

More from DigitalTrends.com: 

Ford talking cars avoid collison

Hacking keyless car entry system is easy, study shows

2011 Explorer reviews

 

To test their new eco-mobile, the Germans travelled to Australia, where they planned to drive (and sail) the Wind Explorer from the southwestern Australian town of Albany, head east on the southern coast, and arrive in Sydney on the southeastern tip of the continent to the cheers of a handful, and the bewildered stares of most. The entire trip took 18 days, covered 3,100 miles and set a handful of world records, including being the first wind-powered vehicle to cross a continent, the longest overall distance covered for a wind-powered vehicle on land, and the longest distance covered in 36 hours by a wind-powered vehicle, as well as several others in the same vein. The trip across Australia also marks the first nearly emission-free trip across a continent in a vehicle. Even horses, which some might consider green in a sense, emit more pollution from the methane in their waste than the Wind Explorer.

 

View gallery

.
Dirk Gion and Stefan Simmerer

The Wind Explorer uses an 8kWh lithium-ion battery, similar to what most electric cars are packing; the difference is in the means of charging the battery. Although it has a plug to charge the battery from the power grid, the real focus of the Wind Explorer is the wind turbine. When the car is in need of a charge, the drivers hoist a 20-foot collapsible mast, housed in a special compartment that runs between the driver and passenger seat, and the turbine begins to charge the battery. Once fully charged, the vehicle averaged close to 250 miles before needing to be recharged.

The exact length of time it took to recharge the battery using a wind turbine varies with conditions, but from the grid, it typically recharges at a rate of 20-percent per hour at maximum input.

Sorry you didn't like this comment. Please provide a reason below.

Are you sure?
Rating failed. Try again.
Request failed. Try again.
We will promote constructive and witty comments to the top, so everyone sees them!
Sorry, we can’t load comments right now. Try again.

    Recommended for You

    • 15-Year-Old Allegedly Decapitated Missing Classmate in ‘Horrific, Horrific Murder’

      Lee Manuel Viloria-Paulino walked out the door of his house on the night of Nov. 18 — and was never seen alive again. On Saturday, weeks after his disappearance, one of Lee’s classmates at Lawrence High School in Lawrence, Massachusetts, was arrested and charged with allegedly murdering and decapitating the 16-year-old, PEOPLE confirms. “This was a horrific, horrific murder,” Essex District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett said at a news conference on Saturday.

      People
    • Devastated Parents Speak Out After 1 Piece of Holiday Cake Killed Their Son

      When 11-year-old Oakley Debbs ate a piece of cake over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, his family had no idea that it had the potential to kill him. Oakley had a peanut allergy and when he realized his mistake, his family was alarmed but gave him Benadryl, which seemed to do the trick. His mom, Merrill, explained to WMTW that the allergy medicine had always worked in the past after an accidental consumption of nuts. She also shared that he felt "great" for the rest of the evening after taking the medicine. However, his condition took a drastic turn later that night and he went from playing with cousins and his twin sister to vomiting. Within minutes the child could no longer breathe. "He was

      PopSugar q
    • No bail for 15-year-old charged with decapitating classmate

      LAWRENCE, Mass. (AP) — A 15-year-old boy charged with killing a high school classmate whose headless body was found near a river said in a police report made public Monday that they had gone to smoke marijuana together and he had last seen the classmate alive.

      Associated Press
    • Jayson Williams speaks following release from prison

      60 MINUTES SPORTS spoke with the former NBA player, who spent 26 months in prison for murdering his limo driver. See the full interview Tuesday, Dec. 6th only on SHOWTIME.

      Yahoo Sports Videos
    • Little Girl Drowned While Babysitter Smoked Meth

      The girl's mother told the babysitter not to let the girl anywhere near the pool, police said.

      Cosmopolitan
    • Anna Kendrick Makes A Striking Point While Discussing Last Tango Rape Scene

      Over the weekend, an old video surfaced of Italian director Bernardo Bertolucci admitting that the infamous rape scene in Last Tango In Paris was planned without the consent of actress Maria Schneider. Anna Kendrick responded to Evans, pointing out that actress Maria Schneider had said the scene was done without her consent, but her allegations were largely ignored. Kendrick said in a tweet, "Ms Schneider stated this several years ago.

      Refinery 29 UK
    • Abducted jogger skips town with family and leaves dogs behind

      REDDING, Calif. — The California mom found beaten and bloody on a highway after going missing for three weeks has skipped town with her husband — and left their two dogs behind. Sherri and Keith Papini left their home in Redding with their two kids but decided not to bring the dogs, friends said. A “buddy of Keith’s” was at the Papini home on Sundust Road on Saturday around noon — and told a Post reporter he was there to “walk the dogs.” He then took the smaller dog on a leash and said he “couldn’t answer any questions” and “I’m going to go walk her now.” He said he was there “just helping out.” A neighbor who has lived next to the Papini house, which is Keith’s childhood home, and has known

      New York Post q
    • Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos’ son is 19 now and the internet is freaking out over how attractive he is

      Beautiful people often have beautiful kids, and this is no exception. Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos’ oldest son is 19 and super…

      Hello Giggles
    • Pregnant dancer shot dead after refusing to dance with drunk men

      This is the horrifying moment a pregnant dancer was shot dead on stage – by drunk men who were angry that they could not dance with her, it was reported. Kulwinder Kaur died after she was gunned down at a wedding in Bathinda in the Punjab state in Northern India. Four people have since been arrested for the murder of the 25-year-old and remain in custody after shocking footage of the shotgun attack was posted online and went viral. Among those arrested include Lucky Goyal, the leader of the Sikh political party Shiromani Akali Dal, and his friend Sanjay Goyal. Two others have not yet been named. The young woman’s husband, named as Rajinder Singh, claimed she was three months pregnant when she

      New York Post q
    • Sherri Papini’s Husband Breaks Down in Tears Describing How She Survived Weeks in Captivity

      Sherri Papini “literally lived through hell” during her 20-plus days in captivity — being branded and beaten and losing about 15 percent of her body weight — her husband, Keith Papini, told ABC News in an interview that aired Monday. Sherri appears to have coped by imagining she was with Keith and their children Tyler, 4, and Violet, 2. “The things she told me,” Keith told ABC’s Matt Gutman, in an on-camera interview on Good Morning America, before breaking down in tears.

      People
    • Republican success opens door to amending US Constitution

      JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — The November election put Republicans in full control of a record number of state legislatures around the country, a level of power that gives the party an unprecedented opportunity: change the U.S. Constitution.

      Associated Press
    • Jayson Williams opens up about limo driver shooting

      Former NBA All-Star Jayson Williams says he was “being a coward” when he tried covering up the drunken “terrible accident” in which he shot his limousine driver to death, he told Sports Illustrated's Jon Wertheim in a new 60 Minutes Sports interview. Williams, who says that night still bothers him, is currently spending time in a Florida rehab facility to try and stay sober. In 2002, Gus Christofi, Williams's driver, was invited to the NBA player's mansion after a night out. Williams provided a tour that included a look at a shotgun that Williams thought was unloaded. The gun went off in Williams’s hands and killed Christofi. Williams wiped the gun off, jumped in his pool and asked one of his

      SI.com q
    • Mom Gets Inspired by Her Baby Girl to Lose 130 Lbs.: ‘I Wanted Her to Look up to Me’

      Kassidy Linde had reached 260 lbs. when she completely lost her self-confidence. “It got to the point that whenever I would look in the mirror, I wasn’t able to find anything beautiful about myself,” Linde, 25, tells PEOPLE.

      People
    • Ric Flair talks about the fight that could 'knock you off your chair' at WrestleMania 33

      Rumour mills are in over drive as to who Triple H might fight against at WrestleMania 33, which is scheduled to take place at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida on 2 April 2017. Speculations are Triple H could square off with Seth Rollins, Bill Goldberg, or even work with UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor in a segment at the pay-per-view (PPV) event. Although the above scenarios promising something spectacular, Ric Flair, who recently signed a new deal with the WWE, has opened up about a fight that could "knock you off your chair" at WrestleMania 33.

      International Business Times UK q
    • 15 Ugly Christmas Sweaters That Are Over the Top In All the Best Ways (16 photos)

      These ugly (yet actually pretty cute!) sweaters will put everyone else's tacky pullovers to shame this holiday season. From Country Living

      Country Living
    • Jennifer Lawrence reveals how her butt almost killed a man

      It's not every day you hear a Hollywood actress talking about butt scratching. But not every actress is Jennifer Lawrence.  During a recent appearance on The Graham Norton Show alongside her Passengers co-star Chris Pratt, J-Law told an unusual tale about scratching her bottom on ancestral Hawaiian rocks while filming The Hunger Games — that almost led to the death of the film's sound man.  Scroll to 2.30 if you want to hear J-Law in full swing. SEE ALSO: Watch Chris Pratt attempt a card trick that only 'works 50% of the time' Or watch from the start to see British chef Jamie Oliver get a roasting about his recipe for the Spanish dish paella.  Chris Pratt reveals hilarious story about his broke days as a waiter Tom Cruise brings his spy action chops to 'The Mummy' in new trailer That time Jaden Smith hid a Nike ad in his music video 'Biggest new coal mine' in the world gets an 'Honest Advert' skewering

      Mashable
    • Petition to Reverse Election Results Is Popular

      Over 4.7 million people have signed it.

      Cosmopolitan
    • Entertainment Tonight
    • Last Tango in Paris director says Maria Schneider did not consent to 'butter rape' scene

      Last Tango in Paris director Bernardo Bertolucci admitted that he conspired with Marlon Brando to film the infamous 'butter rape' scene without the consent of Maria Schneider, who was 19 at the time. "We were having, with Marlon [Brando], breakfast on the floor of the flat where I was shooting," he said.

      International Business Times UK q