Solar Challenge car to form basis of Ultra-commuter
Offering a green, efficient alternative to the typically over-engineered, fossil-fuel burning cars found on Australian roads, the UltraCommuter concept is an ultra-light weight, solar powered commuter vehicle specifically designed to meet Australian urban transport requirements.
The compact, aerodynamic 2-seater uses electric direct-drive wheel motors in the rear wheels that eliminate the gearbox, drive shafts and differentials. The wheel motors provide enough punch to accelerate the vehicle from 0-100kmh in under 8 seconds and also provide 100% regenerative braking under normal driving conditions.
A 2.5m2 on-board solar array means that stopping at the petrol station or even recharging via mains power is a thing of the past, and for long trips of up to 500km, the UltraCommuter will be equipped with a natural gas-fuelled range extender.
The system provides a 97% reduction in CO2 emissions compared to the average passenger vehicle according to designers from the University of Queensland's Sustainable Energy Research Group. Following the success of the SunShark solar car, the group sees a future for the UltraCommuter as a sustainable fleet vehicle or as the second car in Australian households.