Prompted by a comment by Puplah on today’s snippets post, I just did a little research and some calculations. Team Ethanol are participating in the World Solar Challenge and driving a Saab 9-5 BioPower SportCombi in the alternative fuels category of the event.
The question at hand was whether or not they have enough fuel to get there.
Here’s their fuel supply, from their own photo set at Flickr.
That’s a 200 litre drum. Add the fuel tank in the 9-5 and they’ve got 275 litres total supply.
The journey from Darwin to Adelaide, in general terms as I don’t know exactly where they’re starting or finishing, is 3,027 kilometers.
Assuming it’s a manual vehicle (lower consumption), the Saab 9-5 uses 6.8 litres per 100 kilometers, but that’s on petrol. If we use the 30% rule of thumb as advised on the Saab UK website then that brings the car’s fuel consumption on E85 up to 8.84 litres per 100 kms.
With 275 litres of fuel, that means they’ve got 3,111 kilometers of fuel at their disposal. I know there’s not a lot of traffic lights between the two cities (like, none) but they better hope that:
a) they have a tail wind.
b) they don’t have too many stops or delays, and
c) they don’t spill any fuel when they’re refuelling.
84 kilomoters of reserve ain’t that much. It’ll be interesting to see.
And if there’s something wrong with my math here, please let me know.