Astrolab: First Commercial Solar Car

Venturi Astrolab: The first commercially available solar car – Monaco-based Venturi Company’s Astrolab, the first commercial electro-solar hybrid vehicle, will enter the market in early 2008.

The company claims a top speed of 120 km/h (74 mph) and a range of 110 km (68 miles) for this high performance car. The entire top of the Astrolab is covered with 3.6 square meters of photovoltaic cells and "by a film composed of nano-prisms enabling denser concentration of solar energy" to charge the batteries that supply power to the electric motor – even on the move. A full recharge of the batteries would take about 5 hours using a standard 16A plug. With a chassis built from carbon fibers and weighing 250 kg (550 lbs.) in all, the ultra-light tandem two-seater resembles a four wheel motorbike more than a car.

Perhaps the only downside to this green car is its estimated street price of €92,000 (around $117,000).
More on the Astrolab from the Venturi website.