A few of entrepreneurs believe solar-powered automobiles are set for their day in the sun.
Lightyear, a firm in the Netherlands, is creating a four-door automobile whose solar cells can produce enough energy to power short trips after a day of sitting in the sun. The first-generation Lightyear One includes around 50 square feet of solar cells, with a lightweight electric motor situated in each of its four wheels.
With its battery pack completely charged by sunshine or electricity from the grid, the Lightyear One has a range of more than 440 miles. After one day in the sun, the car’s solar cells alone would gather enough energy for up to 43 miles.
While the company’s Lightyear One resembles a regular car, Aptera Motors Corp. of San Diego is choosing another way. It is expanding the usual picture of a passenger car by constructing a two-seater sporting three wheels and a dolphin-shaped body. The car could drive 250 to 1,000 kilometers on a single battery.
Another Dutch firm, Squad Mobility BV, is aiming for a more cheaper solar-powered vehicle: a golf-cart-size two-seater whose 62-mile range, estimated based on simulations, and maximum speed of around 28 miles an hour make it appropriate largely for short excursions on surface roads.
The limited surface area of these solar-powered car vehicles however restricts the amount of electricity these cars can create therefore solar-powered vehicles need to utilize energy significantly more effectively than most automobiles on the road today. And the automobiles being built for daily usage will come with plug-in capabilities so motorists can go where they need to go when solar power alone isn’t enough.
Reference- Inside EVs, EV Obsession, CleanTechnica, BBC, Popular Science