'Autonomous' Energy Vehicles Also the Future
According to the 'boffins' at IDTechEx Research, "electric energy independent vehicles (EIVs) will be one of the most important megatrends this century..." They will bridge the technological gap between 'ambient' energy vehicles - bicycles and sailing ships of old - and the development of autonomous driving, flying, and sailing vehicles now emerging from university and corporate research labs.
As a result of the convergence of these two technologies, they predict in their report entitled, Energy Independent Vehicles 2016-2026:
"..buying and delivering fuel becomes a thing of the past and a major source of global and local pollution is eliminated.
"Indeed, the end-game with electric vehicles by land, water and air is for them to be energy independent. This is about to be one of the most significant technological changes in this century with added benefits in helping third world countries and remote regions to prosper."
The report claims to identify some 33 EIV research programs, including "projects by land, on-water, underwater and in the air." Presumably, they likely include some of the following EIVs, three of the most recent aviation breakthroughs being the around-the-world Solar Impulse, PC Aero's 500km range Elektra One Solar, and the two-place Sunseeker Duo. In the marine EIV category, the Planet Solar trimaran successfully sailed around the world on solar energy only, and the Scout autonomous solar boat nearly made it across the Atlantic before contact was lost at sea.
One of the early pioneers in the EIV concept is Venturi Automobiles of Monaco, who developed two such vehicles a decade ago, the Eclectic featured above and the Astrolab, driven by company founder Gildo Pastor. Both vehicles run off energy collected from the environment, primarily solar, but also wind.
Venturi Eclectric uses both solar and wind energy to charge its battery.
Venturi Automobile's owner Gildo Pastor at wheel of Astrolab solar car.
The Immortus concept car would have infinite driving range in full sunlight.
The IDTech Research report is available for sale here.
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