In recent years and with the development of solar technology, the focus of developing a car that runs on solar power have been always a major proposal. Many prototypes with different designs and capabilities have been proposed during last years.
The main component of such cars is the solar panel mainly placed on the roof of the car. Since the car runs on solar power, the panel needs to be designed and placed in an optimised way to attain the maximum level of solar energy.
Other than the solar panel, the battery plays a vital role in this sort of cars. The battery needs to be lightweight and efficient in both charging process and feeding the engine with power and the battery pack in a typical solar car is sufficient to allow the car to go 250 miles (400 km) without the sun, and allow the car to continuously travel at speeds of 60 mph.
First Solar Car Designed for Everyday Use
After the developments were made for solar cars, it reached the maturity level of being mass produced for everyday use. Stella was the first completely solar car designed for normal road travel. It reached to the U.S. in 2014. Other than mentioned technical requirements, the designed car should possess the aesthetic style of normal cars and that still remains the challenge. This car can travel up to 800 Km on a single charge and it is the first solar car produced for everyday use. Before introducing Stella to market, the cars were only used for solar car races, and it is magnificent that how the producers could change the scope of the market by developing the technology.
Current state of Solar Cars
The environmental issues have made the public to be more aware and therefore the push for clean alternatives to fossil fuels has increased. Currently, 60 percent of Americans are living in areas where electric vehicles are producing even fewer greenhouse gases than hybrid vehicles. There are companies that are investing to fill the gap between electric cars and solar technology. ReVision as an example of such companies is offering level II electric vehicle charging stations that can be wired to draw energy from rooftop solar arrays, allowing users to charge their electric cars with renewable energy.
Although there are limitations and challenges in producing solar cars, but the high demand of clean transportation is going speed up the development process. After projects like Stella, the public is receiving positive signals from industries that a clean and sustainable transportation is not that far ahead. The future of solar vehicles is absolutely bright and it is going to solve a big part of environmental issues.