Solar Hybrid XR2 Wins Race

College in South Australia Builds
Solar/HPV Hybrid XR2 and
Wins First Place in Category in
2001 Australian World Solar Cycle Challenge

     A Solar Cycle team at Prince Alfred College in South Australia built a hybrid XR2 for competition.  In its first race, the Australian World Solar CycleChallenge 2001, the XR2 took first place in “B-Class” and third place overall.   B-Class is a category for unfaired recumbent bicycles (open-bodied, no aerodynamic fairing).  Teams that beat the XR2 in overall standings were running fully-faired recumbents.  The riders who piloted the unfaired XR2 to victory were untrained high school cyclists.  Average speed over the 1553 km course was 41.1 km/h for the XR2.  The two fully-faired recumbents averaged 42.5 and 41.5 km/h respectively over the same course.

Solar cycles are raced in various parts of the world, including Australia, Japan, USA, South Africa, and Malaysia.  Solar cycles are hybrid vehicles powered by a combination of human power and power from solar cells.
Paul Balestrin, head of the project, reported after the first trial runs just prior to the race:  ‘The performance is great…..   When they (the students) tried the motor for the first time the acceleration and ease at which speed can be maintained is superb.”  After winning the race, Paul writes: “The XR2 was the most talked about bike by the teams and crowds.  It certainly broke the mold for traditional solar cycles.”

Way to go team!


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