Iran’s solar-powered Gazelle 2, hopes to place well in trans Australia trials
Iran’s Gazelle 2 solar powered electric car may not have massaging seats, but it certainly looks better than the Palestinian-built solar car in Hebron. The sleek one-seater that weighs only 150 kg, was unveiled at Teheran University by the car’s project manager, Dr. Karen Abrinia. The five meter long and two meter wide vehicle was designed and made by the students of the vehicular research department at the University of Qazvin. It competed in the World Solar Challenge race in Australia, with the winner Tokai University from Japan, just announced.
Palestinian solar powered car
It has a top speed of 120 kph, and its designers claim this speed can be increased to 150 kph. Engineers involved in developing the Gazelle 2, say its solar panels have a 22 percent electricity efficiency.
Iran is interested in alternative and renewable energy projects that include its ongoing and highly controversial nuclear energy program, as well as biofuel projects such as one to create bio fuel from algae at the large Urmia salt lake in northwestern Iran.
The Iranian government is also highly interested in large scale solar energy projects such as a large one being built in Shirhaz, and another one, a 484 MW solar thermal plant at Yadiz. The Iranian government is setting a target amount of 5,000 MW of solar generated electricity by 2015.
Iran’s motivations toward renewable energy stems partially from the extraordinary high levels of air pollution in major cities like Teheran, that kills an average of 27 people a day. The project involving solar powered electric cars is also connected with this high air pollution since cars, trucks, and other vehicles attribute considerably to the high air pollution levels.
The Iranian Gazelle 2 solar-powered car is competing in an international competition of solar powered cars in Australia, the 2011 World Solar Challenge Competition, that began on October 16 – solar powered cars are trying to cross the entire width of the continent from Darwin to Adelaide. Other Middle East teams include Turkey and Saudi Arabia.
Taking everything into account, it is good to complement Iran’s efforts of seeking ways to reduce its pollutions levels by using renewables like energy, including clean fuel in electric cars.
Read more on regional electric car news, including ones using solar energy: