17 October, 2008

Solar Powered Buggy FTW

Kudos to Kudo!  It's kind of like a golf buggy with a solar array on the roof.  Actually, it's exactly like a golf buggy with a solar array on the roof...

It looks cute, it seems to be useful, I wouldn't drive one on the road even with a seat belt - unless it was a special bridle path for electrics - but I always think that the people who make any vehicle solar powered or at least solar assisted, are doing a Good Thing and I will give them link love and a mention.

But then I've now seen a wide range of electric vehicles, and the majority of them are marked by one thing - amateurism.  Who the hell will drive an open-sided vehicle on the open road, alongside other vehicles also busy splashing up all the water in the puddles right onto your lap?

Who wants to drive a 25mph in an un-airconditioned vehicle on a day that's over 100F?  Yes - 50kmh on a 40C day.  With a range of about 80km despite having all those panels.  Want to drive an EV like the Dreamcar 123?  As I say in my article a few weeks ago, I look at the thing and see a very efficient device for using solar power to cook my head while not being able to get over a parking lot speed hump.

Who the hell thinks of these things?  Or rather, starts thinking and then stops halfway through?  You're always going to have the problem that a closed EV looks like a top-heavy breadbox drawing done by a three year old on sedatives, until you start applying industrial design from the get-go.  When you get this brilliant idea for putting four wheels, a few electric motors, a few batteries, and some solar panels together, the hill trolley you made as a 10yo kid is NOT a good starting point... There's a reason why car firms spend billions on the design of a car as much as they work on the technology.

So - I LOVE that someone is finally thinking along the right lines, but I wish they hadn't just coasted to a stop after the bit about "solar panels, batteries, and electric motors, oh wow!"....

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