Now more than ever, people are concerned about being environmentally conscious whenever they can. Gone are the days when the biggest gas guzzler on the road was the hot new thing, now people want vehicles that utilize renewable and sustainable energy sources in order to conserve costs and save the planet.
You’ve probably have been hearing about solar-powered vehicles for a few years now, but thanks to technology they’re becoming widely available and could change the future of the automobile industry. If you want to learn more about solar powered cars and how they work then look no further.
How Solar Cars Work
Essentially, solar powered vehicles take sunlight and turn it into electricity. A photovoltaic cell battery gathers and converts sunlight into storable electric energy that can be used at any time of the day or night. Metal conductive plates on the sides of the battery cells collect the energy and transfer them to wires, making it able to flow and be used like any other source of electricity.
Why Aren’t They Already in Use?
Unfortunately, the solar panels we have now are only running at 20 to 35% efficiency. In order to run a car like you’re used to, you’d need to surround the car’s body with solar panels and this means added cost and weight. It’s simply not efficient.
How Are Car Manufacturers Using Solar Power Right Now?
Back in 1955, General Motors came up with a 15-inch prototype car with a small electric motor and photovoltaic cell battery. The idea has been around for decades, but the execution still isn’t where it needs to be. Today, companies like Sono Motors are putting out hybrid vehicles that can run for short distances on a single charge. However, it also requires the help of a charging station.
This seems to be the main issue that companies cannot find a way to create a vehicle that fully relies on solar energy. The cars still need to be plugged into a charging port or use some other type of fuel to run efficiently and safely.
What are Some of the Advantages of Solar Powered Cars?
If and when solar powered vehicles become available to the public, there will be several advantages for both the consumer and the environment. Solar energy will save consumers money on fuel and other additional costs, with the exception of the occasional battery replacement. Solar energy is sustainable and environmentally friendly. It doesn’t cause additional noise pollution or air pollution.
The Future of Greener Cars
Solar power and other sources of energy look like they’re the future of the automobile industry. More safety testing needs to be done, though. The last thing anyone wants is for unsafe technology applications to cause a car accident in the Bay Area or anywhere else. In the meantime, the possibilities seem endless.