We’ve been hearing a lot about plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) and straight-up electric vehicles (EV), but Ecotricity’s wind-powered carbon fiber composite Greenbird moves just as fast–and looks like way more fun.
British Engineer Richard Jenkins took the missile-like Greenbird for a groundbreaking drive yesterday at Lake Ivanpah south of Las Vegas, Nevada. The Greenbird, with Jenkins at the helm, accelerated to 126.1 MPH across the dried-up, two-mile-wide lake, besting the previous world land speed record for a wind-powered vehicle set by Bob Schumacher ten years ago.
The Greenbird’s record-breaking day was the result of years of planning. Jenkins has been building wind-powered vehicles for past ten years in his quest to break Schumacher’s record. The Greenbird, Jenkins’ fifth-generation wind-powered vehicle, underwent testing in the U.S., U.K., Canada, and Australia before finding the weather and surface conditions necessary to reach ultra-high speeds.
Ecotricity’s Greenbird isn’t headed to market, but the green energy company has hinted that it plans on releasing a wind-powered car for everyday use. The details of how such such a car will work in everyday weather conditions are unclear, but Jenkins and Ecotricity founder Dale Vince are convinced that wind-powered cars will be on the road in the near future. It’s possible, though I can’t picture the burgeoning PHEV and EV industries getting pushed aside by wind power anytime soon.