A remarkable story of how experience from the World Solar Challenge, the solar car race from Darwin to Adelaide, led to a solar-powered trip around the world and the development of light-weight solar taxis that will save lives in Africa.
We talk with Andrew Dickson from CWP Renewables and Peter Pudney from the University of South Australia about their collaboration – firstly on a two seater renewable energy vehicle (TREV) that visited the UN climate conference and drove around the world for $400 of electricity costs, and now on a new project to deliver lightweight solar taxis to Africa, to help save lives by offering transport to hospitals to people who have no other means.
They received a call out of the blue from Africa, asking for help to reduce maternal mortality with a solar powered electric vehicle. A few years later, the first solar taxi in nearly complete – showcasing a design that underlines the importance of low mass for electric vehicles.
It minimises energy use, which minimises the size and cost of solar charging infrastructure and makes possible the off-grid transport solution for the African solar taxi project.
You can listen to our previous TheDriven podcasts with Tony Seba and Alan Finkel here, or on your favourite podcast platform.
Giles Parkinson is founder and editor of RenewEconomy.com.au, and is also the founder of OneStepOffTheGrid.com.au and founder/editor of www.TheDriven.io. Giles has been a journalist for 35 years and is a former business and deputy editor of the Australian Financial Review.