Are Solar Cars The Future Of The Automotive Industry?

Good news: solar cars are on the breakthrough. Not-so-good news: we still got a long way to go to perfect it.

In life, nothing comes for free – not even lunch. It’s either you pay for it or work for it. But perhaps in the future, the energy to make cars move may be something we won’t have to pay for. That technology is going to be within reach, courtesy of solar cars. Yes, we already have hybrid and full-electric cars, but solar vehicles might bring more advantages for us on a chrome platter – virtually free of charge.

Solar Cars And Its Benefits

You’ve probably been into a home that’s entirely powered by solar panels – or heard of one. It’s the same with solar vehicles – the energy used to run the batteries and electrical components come from sunlight. Excessive energy captured by the solar panels won’t go to the batteries but instead would go directly to the car’s motor. 

This sustainable car technology is being developed and improved by several companies. One of the said companies is Japanese carmaker Toyota in partnership with Sharp Corp and New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization of Japan (NEDO). They already have a prototype that can run for a 40-mile stretch. 

Hybrid cars and full-electric cars are already available in the market, and it’s starting to get some ground in encompassing fuel-powered cars in terms of sales. Not only solar cars are going to be an excellent addition to the list of sustainable vehicles, it also has its advantages. One of the significant advantages is that, in time, you don’t need to go to a station to charge or fill up. Makers are improving solar vehicles so it can gather energy even when it’s running. One more obvious advantage is its ability to save you money from electricity and gas.

How Do These Cars Work

Solar cars function through the use of photovoltaic cells (PVC), the components used in solar panels to catch sunlight and convert it to electricity. PVCs are silicon-made semiconductors that can absorb light. Its silicon properties allow panels to be malleable, making it flexible to placed on any surface, including car’s exteriors. 

You might not find any solar vehicles yet in any used car dealerships or auto inspection companies, but the effort to develop one started back in the 1970s. Ed Passerini created the “Bluebird”, considered to be the first solar-powered car, back in 1977. Larry Perkins’s “Quiet Achiever” followed suit in 1982. Nothing followed after Perkins’s creation, but Ford and Mazda attempted to create solar hybrid cars around the same time.

Sion Solar Car – The Future of Solar Cars

Late last year, German carmaker startup Sono Motors introduced the Sion Solar Car, said to be the first mass-produced electric car. The Sono is a compact minivan that depends on its 330 monocrystalline solar cells for its capacity to run. The sun panels are located in the car’s exterior, particularly in the roof, sides, and rear. This technology allows the car to run with a range of 155 mph through. Sion uses a 25 kW battery that can store up to 1,200 watts of power per day. This supplemental energy allows the car to run at night.

Another feature of the Sion Solar Car is its air filtration that helps get rid of fine dust particles of up to 20%. The filtration system also gets rid of moisture when the weather is humid and brigs it back when the humidity drops. 

So, is solar cars the future of driving? Perhaps, but it may take a while for it to hit every road in the world. For now, let’s take advantage of hybrid cars and electric cars available. Click on the link to check on some pre-inspected hybrid cars available.

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