How practical are solar powered cars? Solar energy is a renewable resource even though we only have a window of time when we can collect it. Also, this energy doesn’t pollute the air, and it’s a versatile way to heat water, dry clothes and power different technologies. Below are some facts on solar powered cars that might surprise you.
Solar cars use photovoltaic cells (PVC), which are in solar panels. PVC enables the panels to convert the sun’s energy into electricity that we can use. However, solar technology is expensive, and some solar panels can cost up to $400 each. The reason why some panels are more expensive than others is because the price is dependent on how fast the panel can capture and convert the energy. Solar powered cars that are used for racing can go faster than 60 miles per hour, but their panels cover the car’s body and cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.
In 2006, the Venturi Eclectic was presented at the Paris Auto Show. This car uses solar and wind energy, but it can only travel up to 30 miles per hour. Prototypes such as this are not practical for the common driver, because they cannot travel on the highway.
Maybe after most of the general public can afford hybrid vehicles, solar powered cars will be more practically developed and less expensive. Improvements are being made to solar energy systems every year, so it won’t be long before these cars are designed for the public to drive on the highway.
Overall, solar energy has many benefits. The panels work silently so they don’t add to the noise pollution already on the road. Most importantly, the energy is free and you don’t have a dependence on foreign oil. The unfortunate downside is not having access to this energy after the sun goes down or during cloudy days.
Solar powered cars have come a long way since the creation of the first solar cell in 1883. For now, you can get a taste of solar energy by purchasing the Toyota Prius, which has a new solar roof that can power the car for at least 20 miles longer.