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Thursday, July 03, 2008
Venturi Astrolab Solar Commuter Car
© theirEarth News Media

Venturi Astrolab - Solar Motoring

Imagine being able to commute to work, leave your car outside to charge under the Sun, and then commute home without plugging it in. The car that performs this feat is the Venturi Astrolab, a solar powered plug-in car designed and built by Venturi Automobiles of Monaco. As one of Venturi's latest cars, the Astrolab sets the standard for sustainable energy transportation for the future.

The Astrolab is designed as a two-seater and has a tandem seating configuration. It is one of the first zero emissions sustainable energy cars that you can use for commuting on a daily basis, and has a remarkable top speed of 120 km/h (75 mph). The Venturi Astrolab can be charged in 5 hours off a conventional 16A charger or charged using the 3.6 m2 of solar photovoltaics that cover the entire top surface of the car and provide 600 watts of solar charging power. In any high intensity solar regions throughout the world the Astrolab's design is ideal.

On a full charge the Astrolab has a range of 110 km (69 miles) and Venturi indicates that a daily solar charge will give you an average 18 km (11.25 miles) of daily mobility from solar power alone. The Venturi Astrolab has a 16 kW electric motor and is powered by NIV-7 nickel metal hydride batteries. The battery life expectancy is 2500 charging cycles or approximately 10 years. The Astrolab's total weight is an incredibly light 280 kg (616 lbs), utilising carbon fibre for the chassis and the body structure as found on Formula 1 cars.

The real forward thinking and Planet saving aspect of the Venturi Astrolab is that for 18 km (11.25 miles) a day you are completely independent of the power grid or any fossil fuels and you run entirely on the photon power of the Sun as a zero emissions vehicle (ZEV).

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