From the official Press Release:
With 3.6 m2 of photovoltaic cells giving an exceptional yield of 21%, and covered by a film composed of nano-prisms enabling denser concentration of solar energy, Astrolab is the first high-performance solar vehicle to be commercialised in the world.
Capable of working with very little energy (16 kWc engine) and of recharging even when in motion, Astrolab does not need to be permanently exposed to the sun in order to move. Its NiMH NIV-7 batteries – liquid cooled – enable it to restitute stored energy, whether solar or from the electricity supply, making it the first electro-solar hybrid vehicle.
According to Venturi, "Astrolab also opens up a new era as regards automobile architecture: light and high-profiled, it offers the rays of the sun 3.6 m2 of today’s most sophisticated photovoltaic cells (for an overall vehicle length under 4 m)."
Its designer Sacha Lakic describes Astrolab as : “a flying wing set on four wheels”.
Optimised to incoporate its solar cells, the Astrolab’s design takes into account the effect of passengers’ weight on the vehicle’s dynamic behaviour.
Within a 30-year perspective, Venturi is the only automobile manufacturer capable of presenting such a solution while ensuring new driving sensations and an essential aspect of automobiles: the dream.
"A parallel can be drawn between Astrolab and a sailboat : both advance silently while making best use of the elements provided by Nature. And the piloting of both makes for sensations unlike any other."
To attain this level of performance while using very little energy, Astrolab has been designed like a Formula 1: its carbon monocoque chassis is ultra-light and serves as an oversized protection cell ensuring the safety of its occupants in the event of a collision.
Its profile recalls the aqua-dynamic design of great racing yachts.
Venturi Astrolab – Technical specifications
2-seater tandem vehicle, electro-solar with zero émission
Heavy quadricycle (minimum driving license B1, from 16 yrs old)
Type : asynchronous
Rapport : 1/7
Full recharge in 5 hrs with onboard charger (1.5 kW) using a standard 16A plug
Central carbon body with front and rear units in aluminium
Mc Pherson (inf. triangle inf. + buffer spring set)
4 discs, diameter 170