ERJ staff report (RD)
London, Ontario -- Yokohama Tire Cananda Inc. will help a team of engineering students explore a new approach to making solar-powered electric cars practical for use in everyday driving, a 10 March Yokohama statement said.
The Sunstag solar car programme at the University of Western Ontario will receive financial sponsorship from Yokohama to investigate a new car design that separates the vehicle from the solar charging system.
Yokohama Canada marketing manager, Jonathon Karelse, see the project as an investment in the future of electric cars. â€œOur speciality is tyres, and we have committed to leading in light-weight, low rolling resistance, environmentally superior tyres. But if we are going to continue to lead, we will have to be close to all the developments in this exciting field,â€ Karelse added.
The new design uses a single-passenger electric commuter car paired with a residential solar recharging station. The design will use a removable, replaceable battery array able to provide faster recharging times, the statement said. One battery pack will remain in the charging station while another is being consumed in driving. The car will be powered by a three-phase induction motor that is 97 per cent efficient.
The student team expects to unveil their design early in May of this year and show a drivable model by the end of May. Tentative plans for the Sunstang include an attempt to drive the car across Canada, the statement said, the statement added.
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Press release from Yokohama Canada Tire