Stanford students unveil lastest solar powered car

August 11, 2011 6:01:06 PM PDT
Two decades ago, a visiting professor at Stanford University had an idea to build a solar-powered car. Now, 20 years and 10 cars later, the Stanford Solar Project is still going strong.

Thursday, a team of students is unveiling the project's latest incarnation -- Xenith.

Xenith sits on a 4-inch chassis and is made of a blend of carbon fiber, titanium and aluminum. The solar panels are made with a thin, flexible glass, a departure from the plastics or polymers typically used.

"We have the charging station build directly onto our car; so we can drive infinitely, if it's sunny out," project spokesperson Wyles Vance said.

Xenith can cruise on solar power at 55 miles per hour.

The team will be competing in the World Solar Challenge this fall -- a 2,000 mile race across Australia.

They hope to be the first American team to win since the first race in 1989.


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