Tech Students Develop Electric, Solar Car

A group of Georgia Tech engineering students recently displayed an electric and solar-powered car at the Buckhead Eco-Collection in Atlanta.  They have built the solar racer to compete in a world event later this year.  

The Solar Jackets retrofitted an Audi into a "solar-assisted electric vehicle," Tech aerospace engineering student Corbin Klett of Buford said at the Eco-Collection Event.  The car has two batteries, he said. One, charged by plugging in to a home electric socket, runs the auto's drive train. A smaller one, charged by solar energy, is for auxiliary power, running systems such as the power steering, power brakes and power windows. The smaller battery is charged with solar panels, he said.

The student competition team is designing and building a solar-powered vehicle that will compete in the World Solar Challenge in Australia, Klett said.  The six-day race in October will go from Darwin to Adelaide. From 40 to 50 students are working on the futuristic, aerodynamic car, he said.