Solar-Powered Cars

A solar vehicle is an electric vehicle powered by energy from the sun. The way it works is that the vehicles convert the sun’s energy into electricity using Photovoltaic Panels (PVCs). These fuel the battery to run the car’s motor.

 

Solar Powered Vehicle Development

Ed Passerinibuilds solar vehicles and he has been doing it a long time. In 1977, he completely constructed his own solar powered vehicle, named the “Bluebird”. This vehicle was before its time, but it helped begin the pure solar car movement.

 

Courtesy of Eindhoven University of Technology, “Stella,” a pure solar car,has hit American roads. It was created specifically for road travel, and can transport up to four people from their present  location to their destination. According to this Naperville, IL Land Rover dealer, it is capable of driving up to 500 miles on one solar charge.

 

Another example of a solar powered vehicle enhancement comes from EVX Ventures, which has put a lot of work into a two-person car named “The Immortus.” What’s unique about this car is its specially-designed tires, which are ultra-low rolling resistance tires. These tires are specially designed for solar powered vehicles.

 

 

About PVCs

 

PVCs are made up of semiconductors that absorb light and create electricity. This is how they work: When light hits a PVC, it is absorbed into semiconductor material. The sunlight’s energy then releases the semiconductor’s electrons to create an electron flow. This flow is the electricity that’s stored in the batteries and is used to power the drive motor in the cars.

 

Problems

 

It would be great if cars could operate on just the sun’s power without drawing energy from on-board batteries.  Currently, this is difficult because it takes a lot of energy to power a car and today’s PVCs aren’t efficient enough yet.  However, if a vehicle can charge its batteries for a while, it does work – at least for very light, specialized cars.  These cars are not in production at the present time, but that doesn’t stop 100s of entrepreneurs and inventors from producing them. 

 

Solar Car Racing

 

An interesting thing that has come about is the concept of solar car races.  They are quite common now and are great ways for solar car makers to show off their solar car technology. The first known solar car race to have happened was the 1985 Tour de Sol.  The Tour de Sol is still held once a year, but there are dozens of others that have popped up in just the US alone. A big one is the World Solar Challenge and it takes place every two years

 

The Future

 

As for solar car future, it remains to be seen but one can state with some confidence that solar power vehicles are here to stay and development will keep on.  Just think about it: a car that is powered by the free energy of the sun is just too exciting a concept to disappear.We hope that you’ve enjoyed learning about the development of solar-powered vehicles!

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