The Wind Explorer EV, a two seater, piloted by German extreme sportsmen Dirk Gion and Stefan Simmerer set three world records during their coast-to-coast trip across Australia, including the first time a continent had been crossed by a vehicle powered by wind and lithium-ion batteries, the longest overall distance covered by an exclusively wind-powered automobile, and the longest distance covered in 36 hours by an electric and wind-powered vehicle.
The Wind Explorer is a lightweight electrically, wind and kite-powered vehicle all in one. Every day, in the course of the Wind Explorer’s 5000-kilometer journey coast to coast straight across Australia, the two pilots set up a mobile wind turbine to recharge the vehicle’s lithium-ion-batteries. In addition, hundreds of kilometers were logged by kite: in crosswinds the Wind Explorer was pulled by large, steerable kites.
The Wind Explorer is an absolute lightweight, a wind-electromobile, an open roadster for two which, ready to go, weighs in at 200 kilograms including batteries and wind turbine. That makes it precisely 67 kilos heavier than both pilots together.
The Wind Explorer combines state-of-the-art lithum-ion technology, uncompromising lightweight carbon fiber sandwich technology, low friction tires and an aerodynamic form. It is so efficient that the little wind turbine carried aboard can produce enough energy for a daily distance of 250 to 400 kilometers! By comparison: for a 100-kilometer stretch, the Wind Explorer needs roughly half the amount of electricity needed to wash and dry a load of wash.
The starting point for the continental crossing was south of Perth in Albany, Australia’s southwest-most point. From there the route followed the south coast through the Nullarbor plain, Adelaide and Melbourne all the way to Sydney on the Pacific Ocean. Thus far the Wind Explorer has been able to cover 200 to 490-kilometer legs every day.
Open roadster for up to two persons
Spacious trunk under the front hood
Electric hub motor integrated into the rear wheel assembly
Wind turbine transported aboard the vehicle
Component bamboo mast: 6 meters
Rotor diameter: 2.70 meters
Max. power: 1000 watts
Wind turbine height: 7.30 meters
Mobile anchoring system for wind turbine mast suitable for all surfaces (sand, rock, soil, gravel)
Lithium-ion batteries with ceramic separators (cells correspond to those in the e-smart as of 2012)
Battery: 4 blocks of 14 cells each
Power on full charge: 4 x 2 kilowatt hours; 8 KW/h total
Same lightweight construction as for Formula 1 / body shell from ROHACELL sandwich carbon fiber
Total vehicle weight: 90 kg plus 90 kg batteries plus 20 kg wind turbine head = 200 kgs
Daily distance averages: 300 to 430 kilometers
Top speed: 80 km/h
Most economic power consumption at 45-60 km/h
Average power consumption: 2.0 KW/h for 100 km (corresponds to 48 Euro cents at 0.24 €/KW/h)
Full battery charge: 8 KW/h (corresponds to an electricity cost of 1.92 Euros at 0.24 €/KW/h)