Auto-Technology Spotlight: A Look at Sono Motors for Students in Auto Mechanic Training
August 31, 2017
For students in auto mechanic training, technological developments in the automotive world are always big news. When it comes to solar power, students and professionals of all interest areas are taking note: solar-powered cars are beginning to move from science fiction to reality.
One recent high-profile development in the realm of solar-powered cars has come from Sono Motors, which unveiled the Sono Motors Sion car on July 27th. This self-charging solar EV (electric vehicle) has been in development since 2017, and is expected to begin production by 2019. This means that for those seriously interested in solar vehicles, a viable option might be on the near horizon. We’ve put together a quick overview of key information about Sono Motors and solar vehicles in general to help auto mechanic students and car enthusiasts alike see how solar cars may fit into the future of the automotive industry.
Solar Engines: Where Are We Now?
Buzz about renewable energy sources can be seen in many industries, but it means especially big things for the auto industry. With transportation leading the way as one of the largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption, vehicles that rely on energy sources other than fossil fuels are becoming increasingly important to forward-thinking consumers.
In practice, solar power has often been paired with electric vehicles. We can see this with the Sono Motors Sion, as well as other popular prototypes like Tesla’s solar roof design or the Lightyear One. Solar power is slowly making its way into the public eye, but its full impact on the auto industry and the professionals who service it remains to be seen.
Professionals With Auto Mechanic Training Understand the Limits of Solar Power
Seems too good to be true? While solar vehicle projects are legitimate, they do have drawbacks that still need to be addressed with better technology. Some of these limitations may not be so surprising for students enrolled in auto mechanic training, as they know better than anyone how many complex considerations go into getting an engine to run well.
According to Car and Driver, the main hurdle for solar vehicles is simply that the surface area of a regular car is not large enough to place the number of solar cells needed to power the car for regular use. This will improve as solar cells get more efficient. For now, however, cars on the road need to have another energy source in addition to solar power. The cost of these vehicles may also currently be too high for the average driver. The Scion, for instance, starts at a deceptively reasonable $18,000 USD. However, this price does not include the substantial cost of the battery, which drivers will have to purchase or lease for a yet-to-be-determined price.
The Future of Solar and Graduates of Mechanic Colleges
With the long timeline for producing more efficient solar cells and the overall rarity of solar vehicles so far, students and professionals alike probably won’t see or service any solar engines any time soon. However, these technologies still show that these types of alternative-fuel features are of interest to drivers. Sono Motors and other similar ventures like the Lightyear can serve as inspiring examples to students in mechanic colleges of the amazing things that are possible with advances in automotive technology, and maybe even provide a glimpse into the future of the auto industry.
Are you ready to make auto mechanic training a part of your future?
Contact the ATC to find out how you can learn to become a car mechanic in Cambridge.
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