The solar electric van that drives around Sydney for free covered in panels and with three repurposed lawn mower engines

Seven years ago, Ziga Dorkic, an industrial engineer, inventor and specialist in designing and manufacturing all sorts of things, decided that the best way to demonstrate how easy it could be to have an electric car at low cost solar power was to make one. Your van is the result.

Ziga’s machine is an example of reuse, recycling and zero-emission energy.

Its electric motors come from old lawn mowers, while the electricity comes from solar panels and is stored in 7,000 – yes, seven thousand – batteries salvaged from old laptops and power tools.

The result is a commuter vehicle that takes Ziga running errands in his western Sydney neighborhood and into the western suburbs, without spending a dime on fuel.

People’s first reaction to the vehicle with its striking coverage of 24 solar panels is almost always the same.

Every time I go shopping, someone always comes up to me and says, “Is this real?

I’m like, ‘Damn, this is for real!

Ziga Dorkic

Years before building the van, Ziga had taught a course at TAFE Meadowbank on building an electric car for students.

I thought, I did this for others, why don’t I do this for myself?

Ziga Dorkic

He found a used Daihatsu Hijet van, “a perfect car with a lot of surfaceand went to work in the workshop of his house. The Hijet, made in the 1980s, was a mini workhorse with a small gasoline engine. Millions of these little vans have been sold around the world, but the one that cruises the streets of Sydney is one of a kind.

The gasoline engine has been replaced by three electric mower motors. They connect to the original gearbox via a transmission designed by Ziga itself. Then, using a homemade spot welder, he connected the 7,000 batteries to create power banks that line the floor and sit in a suitcase-sized unit in the compartment. luggage compartment of the van.

An electric car battery like a Tesla battery uses the same concept: thousands of tiny lithium-ion batteries, each slightly larger than a normal AA battery, are connected together to form a large bank.

All energy comes from the sun– When not in use, the van is connected to a large solar panel on the roof of Ziga’s house. The van’s solar panels power the gauges and recharge the batteries on the go, but the main load comes from the roof assembly. This installation, built by Ziga, powers not only the van but also his house thanks to a large battery bank.

Ziga has yet to find the limits of the van’s power reserves: his longest journey so far was a 100km loop southwest of Sydney and he returned home with enough charge to start again .

Whatever the range, it’s set to expand again, as Ziga’s current plan is to add another 2,000-cell power bank to the van.

The conocimientos de ingeniería that Ziga applied has known furgoneta han perfected during decades working in the center of Sídney at the time in which was a center of manufacture and innovation, palabras de moda hoy en día que eran simple realidades cotidianas de los negocios australianos hace 40 years.

Ziga says he built the van simply to show people that a low-cost electric car is possible, even something that could be built at home.

I wanted to tell people that every house should have this.

Each house can have two cars, why not have a solar one? It is very simple.

Ziga Dorkic.

Youtube video

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