TMC is an independent, primarily volunteer organization that relies on ad revenue to cover its operating costs. Please consider whitelisting TMC on your ad blocker and becoming a Supporting Member. For more info: Support TMC

World Solar Challenge

Discussion in 'Australia & New Zealand' started by dcasnowdon, Nov 14, 2014.

  1. dcasnowdon

    dcasnowdon Member

    Oct 20, 2014
    Sydney, Australia
    Hi everyone,

    For a long time, I've been involved with the World Solar Challenge -- 40 custom-built electric solar vehicles compete to be the fastest to cross from Darwin down to Adelaide. It's an awesome event travelling through some amazing landscapes. The event stops at 7 locations along the route (sometimes more, depending on the year), which led me to think that it would be possible to charge Tesla vehicles at those locations if we had some charging infrastructure (realistically, this would have to be a big generator in lots of locations). Those locations are all less than 500km apart (or there could be extra charge stops added), and if we could somehow get fast chargers there we'd be able to charge a series of cars.

    There seems to be a whole lot of energy here (excuse the pun!), so I was wondering if anyone might be interested in trying to work out how to drive a set of solar cars along the route. It takes about four days to drive it, but in the Model S I think we'd probably stretch it out a bit.

    It'd be a bold move to drive a rally of Model S cars through some of the most remote country on earth, but it'd be an amazing demonstration of the ability of the electric car.

    It's just an idea and there's a bit of chicken-and-egg -- people would need to be interested, the event organisers would need to be sold on i it, and we'd need to work out the logistics and technical challenges of charging cars, moving fast chargers, etc (I was thinking of contacting Tritium to see if they'd like to participate). Perhaps Tesla or others would sponsor that side of things.


  2. Mark E

    Mark E Member

    Jun 27, 2012
    Sydney NSW
    I suggested to Tesla that they should do this a couple of years ago - if only for a single car. The idea would be to have batteries at the charge stops to recharge the car. If they were to work with a green energy company then they could potentially use renewable power to charge the batteries, and complete the run in record time while cruising at 100kmh with the air conditioning running. :)
  3. ZsoZso

    ZsoZso Member

    Apr 24, 2014
    Brampton, Ontario
    I remember a couple of students drove across the US in a Tesla charging it up every day using solar power from fold-up blanket type PV cells that they could pack up and carry with them during the night-time drives to the next day-stop. Based on that idea, it would be possible to deliver some portable solar PV arrays to the charging stop positions along with sufficient battery capacity to pre-store the solar energy, so when the cars arrive they can charge from the battery quickly and move on. It needs a lot of logistics and materials (PV cells as well as batteries), but I think it should be doable and then it would really be solar powered.
  4. Dborn

    Dborn Confirmed

    Aug 26, 2011
    Sydney, Australia
    Nice idea. However, the other bit of logistics is getting the cars to and from the starting point and return.. From Sydney/Melbourne to Darwin/ Adelaide. Or even a car based in Adelaide, has to get home from Darwin. If this can all be worked out, (maybe a train) I actually could be interested in joining.
  5. Tasdevil

    Tasdevil Member

    Nov 24, 2013
    Seems like a better idea than making a copy of the James Bond car/submarine.
  6. meloccom

    meloccom Moderator Aus/NZ

    Feb 11, 2008
    Sydney Australia
    Simon Hackett did this in his Roadster in 2011. IIRC he had a truck with a 3 phase generator follow him for recharging.
    It would not be easy but I think it would be possible for a Model S to do the trip.
    Solar Challenge stops an distances are:
    Darwin to Katherine 316km
    Katherine to Dunmarra 318km
    Dunmarra to Tennant Creek 355km
    Tennant Creek to Barrow Creek 225km
    Barrow Creek to Alice Springs 286km
    Alice Springs to Kulgera 284km
    Kulgera to Coober Pedy 424km
    Coober Pedy to Glendambo 254km
    Glendambo to Port Augusta 286km
    Port Augusta to Adelaide 307km.
    So with suitable charging at each stop it would be possible to keep up with the Solar cars.
  7. heosat

    heosat Member

    Jul 10, 2013
    I believe Simon is looking to do it again.
  8. mspohr

    mspohr Active Member

    Jul 27, 2014
    Sounds like an ideal demo for Tesla battery swap.

Share This Page

  • About Us

    Formed in 2006, Tesla Motors Club (TMC) was the first independent online Tesla community. Today it remains the largest and most dynamic community of Tesla enthusiasts. Learn more.
  • Do you value your experience at TMC? Consider becoming a Supporting Member of Tesla Motors Club. As a thank you for your contribution, you'll get nearly no ads in the Community and Groups sections. Additional perks are available depending on the level of contribution. Please visit the Account Upgrades page for more details.