Students from the Georgia Institute of Technology, calling themselves the Solar Jackets, have converted an Audi TT into an electric vehicle that is partially powered by a solar system, and plan to race their innovative design in this year’s World Solar Challenge.
The Solar Jackets have been working on solar-enhanced electric vehicles since 2008, and the group currently hosts approximately 50 student members. Their car is based off a stock Audi TT Coupe body, and mates the original all-wheel drive transmission to an all-electric drive-motor.
The car is equipped with two batteries, a primary pack that powers the drive-train and can be charged by a standard 120 volt outlet, and a secondary pack that is charged by thin solar-cells on the roof and hood of the vehicle, which powers the steering mechanisms, windows, brakes, headlights, radio, and more.
The team is hoping to turn heads at this year’s World Solar Challenge in Australia this October, an almost 2,000 miles race that stretches across the middle of the continent from the northern city of Darwin to the southern city of Adelaide.