Fossil fuels are limited in supply and are believed to be exhausted in the next 50 years. In order to serve the future requirements of fuel, researchers all over the world are working on vehicles powered by alternate fuels. Electric cars have been an emerging trend in automobile sector and almost all manufactures are betting on them. Sun is the most eternal and sustainable form of energy on earth, utilizing solar energy to power the motor of an electric car has emerged as a hot topic amongst researchers.
Solar powered vehicles contain an array of photovoltaic cells in a panel mounted on the top of the car. Sun’s energy generates free electrons in the panel which move and produce current. This electricity can either be used instantaneously to run the car or can be stored in a battery to save for a rainy day or driving at night. You can select from several vehicle solar panels depending upon the power requirements of your car. Although this technology is still in experimental phase, it might just be the next big thing in the automobile sector. Here are some reasons:
1. Zero Emission
Electrical vehicles utilize electricity to move motors and don’t emit any greenhouse gas or pollutants in the process. This eco-friendly practice reduces the carbon emission to nearly zero levels. This helps in combating global warming by building a safe and self-sustainable planet as prescribed by the United Nations.
2. Free Fuel
Yes, you have to make the initial investment in installing the solar panel the top of your car. The fuel cost is practically zero as compared to gasoline-based cars. Also, they don’t require extensive maintenance as compared to fossil fuel driven vehicles. This one-time investment is very less if you consider the operating and maintenance costs of gasoline cars.
As these vehicles derive energy from sun, the fuel is always available. Whether you drive it in the city or it is parked on your porch, it can be charged. The excess solar power can be stored in batteries for future use. So instead of taking your car to fuel station, the fuel station is coming to your car!
4. It’s Quiet
As there are no mechanical components like pistons and engine in the electric cars, they are super quiet while driving. Electric cars are so quiet that the manufactures are adding extra noise in the cabin to stimulate the sound of petrol-based vehicles we are used to. This can substantially reduce the noise pollution.
5. Driving Comfort
The bulkiest component in any car is its engine. If you replace it with electric motor and battery, it takes off significant portion of the weight. This reduced weight of the electrical vehicles results in improved driving comfort and faster speed as compared to their gasoline counterparts. It also allows the manufacturers to use less weight components with similar safety considerations.
6. The Road Ahead
Solar power technology has come a long way since the first solar cell was created in 1883 but solar powered vehicles have still a long way to be a commercially viable project. There are several challenges in solar powered vehicles; efficiently converting solar energy into electricity, storing the solar power into batteries for long time, reducing the size of the solar panels and being low cost.
Wrapping It Up
Despite these limitations, the recent prototypes of solar powered vehicles have shown immense potential. Hopefully with proper support and encouragement from authorities, the manufacturers will come up with environmentally-sensitive and commercially profitable solar powered vehicles. Watch out for them!