Having a wind-powered car would be the ultimate alternative energy car indeed. In fact like a sailboat it would need little if any power, now that would be the ticket. And there are land sails, which can cruise at high rates of speed across a flat desert lake bed and perhaps you have seen pictures of these?
So although this is not exactly you average SUV you can see the theory of how it could work. Now one think tank online has challenged its members to come up with a wind-powered car and one member states;
"There was always one issue I couldn't get around, which was having this car work in flat terrain places like a plain or outback area, where there is no, or very little wind most seasons. You would need an alternate primary power source to kick-start the wind buildup."
Indeed this would make sense because sometimes the air is totally calm and then what? You go nowhere fast right? Well, maybe not for instance if the sail car or wind car had batteries and could charge another way and then work off the batteries when there was no wind. Going down hills and breaking it could charge the battery. Some in the think tank suggested a solar power battery charging unit, others though perhaps another alternative energy source and still another suggests a heat exchanger collector type system as he states;
"You could use infrared collectors to kick-start the vehicle and gain power from thin air. This being especially advantageous since the sun shines more often in plain flats. Then store that power for usage during daytime (if needed) and the nighttime, where infrared is (at this point) less harvestable beaming off the moon, instead of the sun."
Well although there would be only small amounts of energy collected in this manner, never the less it is energy and thus is one way to charge the batteries up a little more. Which would be the primary key to making a wind-car work, keeping the batteries charged that is. It was further stated;
"So you have the wind as a primary power, and you have the backup primary power as well. These resources are harvested from the sun and the air, which are two eco-friendly ways to get around. Both of which are readily available for usage."
Indeed there are no simple solutions to making a wind-powered car, but the challenge is out there if you dare to explore and think. Perhaps someday we may see wind-powered cars to help us cut down on our dependence on foreign oil. Consider all this in 2006.