Wind powered cars are one of the many possibilities for alternative transportation. After all, one ever-abundant source of green energy is the wind, which has been harnessed for travel in the past on the high seas. But can it become an efficient source of energy for travel on land? Let's take a look at some designs for wind powered cars that may be the wave of the future:
The Ecotricity Greenbird
A team of engineers has set the land speed record for a wind powered vehicle at 126 mph. The Ecotricity Greenbird swept across the desert with a combination of technologies. Elements from racing yachts, airplanes and Formula 1 cars were all included in the Greenbird's design. The car has two wings, one vertical and one horizontal. The vertical wing creates lift, much like an airplane's wing, only instead of that force being applied to levitate the vehicle, it is used to propel it forward. The horizontal wing, which extends on only one side of the car, keeps it from leaving the ground. The body of the car is designed like a Formula 1 racer to minimize wind resistance. The end result is a sleek machine that can travel much faster than the wind is actually traveling. Although the Greenbird isn't likely to turn up at your local dealership anytime soon, it can give you an idea of how wind powered cars might develop.
Other Wind-Powered Options
Will the Ecotricity Greenbird be the design of the future? The "Ecotricity" in the "Ecotricity Greenbird" stands for the name of a British alternative-electricity company, and its founder, Dale Vince, is still working on options for wind-powered cars. At this time, the potential for wind-powered cars is unlimited. Perhaps the car could use a kite-like sail that drags the car across the road? Or maybe these cars could be outfitted with batteries that are charged using personal wind power or an at-home windmill? While the wind powered car may still be a thing of the future, present-day steps are being made to lay the foundation to make this clean energy source a viable way to travel.