Queensland company Clenergy TeamArrow is claiming line honours in the developmental race for the world’s first commercially available solar-powered car.
According to the state government’s media release, Minister for Innovation, Science and the Digital Economy Leeanne Enoch officially launched the Arrow STF (Sports Touring Framework), a two-seater “Cruiser Class” solar sports coupe that has a top speed of 150km per hour and can travel 1000km before needing to recharge.
Enoch said the car – which was designed and built in Brisbane by Clenergy TeamArrow – represents “Queensland ingenuity at its best” and was a “game changer for the passenger vehicle market with potential to boost the state’s economy through new products, services and jobs”.
“More than that, this innovation has the potential to reduce the $4.2 billion spent each year by Queensland households on petrol by as much as 90 per cent in the foreseeable future,” Ms Enoch said.
“In September last year, when the Palaszczuk Government announced Clenergy TeamArrow would establish their testing site and workshop at Hamilton, they promised us a prototype vehicle in time for the 2017 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge – and they have delivered,” Ms Enoch said.
“The solar vehicle unveiled today at the testing track is the racing version of the Arrow STF which will shortly leave for the Northern Territory to compete in a 3000km endurance challenge through the Red Centre from Darwin to Adelaide starting 8 October 2017.
“A customisable version is available to the general public and I understand that orders are already rolling in,” she said.
The Arrow STF includes proprietary solar technology designed, built and tested by Clenergy TeamArrow at their Hamilton workshop.
Clenergy TeamArrow Founder Cameron Tuesley said, “Our energy management system includes a highly efficient solar array that generates 1.1 kilowatts total power.”
“The car is capable of self-charging from sunlight as well as from the electricity grid.
“The version you’re seeing today features a pared-back, race-configured cockpit suitable for long-range events like the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge.
“For individual buyers we will build customised versions which have all the features you would expect in a luxury sports car, including air conditioning and infotainment,” he said.
Sales of electric vehicles are tipped to increase to almost 50 per cent of all new car purchases by 2040.
“It’s true that not everybody is going to be able to rush out and buy a vehicle like this at today’s prices, but we can expect to see the purchase price of electric vehicles to become parity with fossil fuel vehicles in the next five-to-six years,” Ms Enoch said.