Moving Towards a Solar Powered Car
February 12, 2015
It seems as though there’s a new automotive trend on the rise that has captured the attention of several companies and schools– solar powered vehicles. Considering the fact that electric vehicles have grown immensely popular in the past few years, this alternate source of sustainable energy might just be the next big thing to hit the auto industry. Read on to learn more about some of the solar powered vehicles that have already reached conceptual design stages.
NTU Students Create 3D Printed Solar Powered Vehicles
The students of Nanyang Technological University (NTU) have recently built two concept cars that individuals enrolled in mechanic programs and even those pursuing engineering careers might want to keep tabs on. These incredible inventions are solar electric vehicles that boast 3D-printed body shells. While one of the cars has a honeycomb design, the other has a motorcycle-inspired “tilting” design and only three wheels.
The honeycomb concept car can reach a maximum of 60km/h and consumes very little energy. Its body is made from NTU student-developed silicon solar cells, while its cabin is made of extremely lightweight and strong plastic. Later this year, both vehicles will be entered into the Shell Eco-marathon Asia competition in the “Urban Concept” category.
Hanergy Holding Group Tests New Waters
The Chinese renewable energy company Hanergy Holding has recently decided to venture into the automotive business. This upcoming October, Hanergy will launch five models of solar powered vehicles. And, according to a recent statement, these cars will be able to run up to 100km after only a four hour charge. Though graduates of mechanic colleges know that this range is quite limited compared to other EVs and solar powered vehicles, the fairly quick charge time is the selling point. Hanergy is developing these solar powered cars with several partners, both foreign and domestic. In other business news, Hanergy will be partnering with luxury electric car company Tesla Motors in the upcoming year to build a network of charging stations for alternative energy vehicles.
Sunswift eVe Concept Seeks Crowdfunding
A group of 60 Australian engineering students have created an extremely efficient solar powered vehicle – one that can travel almost 500 km of highway between charges. Anyone who has had auto technician training knows just how rare and impressive this mileage is for a solar powered vehicle. It is the combination of the car’s lightweight body and efficient solar panels that makes the Sunswift eVe so unique – however, it has yet to become road-ready due to a lack of financing. This is why the team of undergraduate students who built the Sunswift eVe have turned to crowdfunding to raise the $30,000 they’ll need to get this concept to the production stage.
Check out the solar car in action here:
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