The Wind Explorer kite crosses Australia

February 28, 2011 | Kiteboarding
The Wind Explorer: in the future, we will be traveling this way

Kitesurfers Dirk Gion and Stefan Simmerer had an incredible idea. Let's build a 200-kilogram car that is, at the same time, a kitesurfing craft and a wind turbine.

Meet the "Wind Explorer," a powerful convertible that has crossed the Australian continent in 18 days.

That's a 3,000-mile trip that only needed £10 of electricity to complete the challenge. There's no gas or gasoline involved.

The "windmobile" uses lightweight lithium-ion rechargeable batteries and gets the best crosswinds to travel 420 kilometers by steerable kites in total.

The "Wind Explorer" is so efficient that the little wind turbine carried aboard can produce enough energy for a daily distance of 250 to 400 kilometers.

The journey has begun in Albany (south of Perth), Australia's southwest-most point.

From there, the route followed the south coast through the Nullarbor Plain, Adelaide, and Melbourne, all the way to Sydney on the Pacific Ocean.

Every day, the environmentally-friendly car is able to cover 200 to 490-kilometer legs.

So far, the "Wind Explorer" has already beaten several records: long-distance covered independent of external energy sources or fuels, a continent cross by vehicles powered solely by wind energy and electricity, and a wind-powered vehicle covering a distance of 493,5 km, within 36 hours.

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