General Motors Made The Best Solar Electric Car In the 1990’s. Why Not Again?

While I was reading up on my book Build Your Own Electric Vehicle and hearing the recent debate on MSNBC about energy, plus today is the day that General Motors will be going to their initial public offering after being basically bought out by the taxpayers of the United States.

Here is that excerpt:

Leading up to the 1990s, General Motors warmed to the EVs through a series of events.  First, GM decided to enter the 1987 Australian World Solar Challenge, a project champtioned from within the Howard Wilson, then vice President of Hughes.  They turned for help to a little company called AeroVironment, founded by Paul MacCready.  MacCready had already won prizes from the longest-human powered flight with his extremely lightweight and efficient planes that crossed the English Channel but in 1979 created the “Solar Challenger” that flew 163 miles from Paris to the English Coast in 1981. 

Aerovironment was now given the ultimate challenge from GM-creating a vehicle capable of going 1,900 miles across the Australian outback on solar power only!!! 

Well, they did it alright!!  In fact, GM’s winning “Sunraycer” beat the competition by 2/12 days, proving what was possible with electric drive.

In fact, here are the specs”

Range: 120 miles

Top Speed: 75 miles per hour

Power Train (what really won the race) 2 motors @ 54 hp AC DRIVE

Battery Pack: Lead Acid

Curb Weight: 2,200 lbs

It can happen!!!

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3. Build Your Own Electric Motorcycle by Carl Vogel

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