The solar car designed and built by the University of Bologna, 'Emilia 4', has triumphed at the American Solar Challenge, a competition reserved for solar vehicles developed by universities all over the world. After 2,700 miles through the Rocky Mountains, from Nebraska to Oregon, the Solar Wave team, the only European team in the race, has indeed closed the gap by winning first place. And there were also two special prizes: better mechanics and use of composites and better battery design.
The vehicle, developed by the Onda Solare team, has a similar appearance to that of a traditional car, but with a big difference in consumption: Emilia 4 uses an amount of energy similar to that needed to run a hair dryer. With two electric motors positioned inside the wheels, it is powered by five square meters of high-performance solar panels connected to the latest generation lithium batteries.
Emilia 4’s challenge began on July 6, with a series of preliminary tests on the circuit (for a total of almost 500 kilometers traveled), all passed with excellent results. Then, on July 14th, the actual race started. The solar car, born from U