January 25, 08
Trev Two-Seat Lithium ion Electric Travel for 2¢ a Mile

Staff and students at the University of South Australia have designed and built an amazing vehicle called the Trev. Its features include:

* two comfortable seats, since more than 90% of urban trips have only one or two people in the car;
* enough luggage space for at least two overnight bags;
* 300 kg mass—because using a 2.5 tonne vehicle for commuting is ridiculous;
* energy-efficient tyres, brakes and suspension;
* a clean, quiet and efficient electric drive system;
* compliance with road safety and worthiness regulations;
* good performance, with a top speed of 120 km/h; and
* 150 km of city driving before the car must be recharged.

Most importantly, it uses less than 1/5 of the energy required by a conventional car, and can be recharged using electricity from clean, renewable sources such as solar and wind.

And it doesn't look too bad...


* The tandem seating layout gives good aerodynamics, good balance, and good vision.
* The acrylic canopy gives the driver an unimpeded view of the road.
* The canopy and door open on the kerb side of the car.
* The electric motor gives smooth, quiet acceleration from 0–100 km/h in under 10 seconds.
* A composite tub chassis, with foam and plastic body panels, gives a total car mass of 300 kg.
* A 45 kg lithium ion polymer battery gives over 150km of city driving.
* Low-energy tyres on low-mass alloy wheels give low rolling resistance.
* The single rear drive wheel simplifies the suspension, and allows a simple, efficient transmission.


In October 2007 they drove Trev from Darwin to Adelaide in the Greenfleet Technology Class of the World Solar Challenge. For most of the journey, we drove 80 - 120 km at speeds of 80 - 90 km/h before stopping to recharge from a generator. We completed the 3020 km trip in just over 6 days.

Our energy consumption was 6.2 kWh/100 km. Recharged from solar, wind or hydro, there are no emissions.

Electricity costs about $0.18 per kWh. The cost of recharging Trev is 2¢ cents per mile, so the entire journey cost us $33 of electricity