Marcelo da Luz is now taking his solar powered car up the ice road from Inuvik to Tuktoyaktuk in two weeks. His car, the Power of One or Xof1, can achieve speeds of 120 kph and operate for two hours on battery power alone. ...
After surviving sandstorms and downpours, flying saucer look-alike will challenge NWT ice roads
Marcelo da Luz is now taking his solar powered car up the ice road from Inuvik to Tuktoyaktuk in two weeks. His car, the Power of One or Xof1, can achieve speeds of 120 kph and operate for two hours on battery power alone. Da Luz had shattered the solar car distance record by racking up more than 35,000 kilometres in travel to the Arctic Circle and through the U.S.
Photograph by: Supplied, edmontonjournal.com
On April 10, he will tackle the 185-kilometre ice road that links Inuvik with Tuktoyaktuk, N.W.T.
He has endured sandstorms in California and drenching rain on the Dempster Highway, but the ice road will test the limits of man and machine.
If the weather is too warm, the road will deteriorate and he could be stranded on the wrong side of the Mackenzie River.
If it's too cold, he could freeze in the unheated car and experience breakdowns or failures of components that aren't made to endure severe wintry weather. The cold could sap his batteries. The short daylight hours and low-slung sun will impede his car's ability to run on solar power.
And then there's always the risk of blinding spring blizzards.
"It will be a great challenge for me," he said. "Anything can happen. But I may get lucky with the weather and the car as well."
The flimsy-looking, made-in-Canada craft has proved to be durable. Da Luz has been thrilled with its performance. In fact, he says he's had more problems with his support van and trailer, which have broken down a number of times.