Solar Cars – The Future of Motoring
Humans have always wanted to harness the power of the sun. It gives us light and heat that we could not live without. In recent years we have created solar cells that power our cities and provide energy for our electric vehicles. Many people wonder if it is conceivable to make a car that is completely solar powered. A car that does not need to be plugged in.
This reality is out of reach for now, but it may not be out of reach for long. Current solar cells are not efficient enough to consistently power a full vehicle. We have solar powered hyper mile cars, but they are made to have very little drag and weigh less than a normal car. The issue is that cars, and especially SUVs, take a ton of energy to move at highway speeds. The creature comforts that people are just used to like air conditioning or luxury features like massaging seats also take a lot of power to run. The final issue is that solar powered cars wouldn’t work if it’s a cloudy day or if it’s night time.
So how do we solve all of those issues? It’s simple, we make a more efficient solar cell. Solar cells are very useful in full sunlight, but if they are partially obscured they lose effectiveness exponentially. Also, the car would need a large battery bank so it could run at night. Many people would ask if the car is going to need a large battery bank then why not just have it be a pure plug-in electric car? This is a valid argument, and will solar cells being so expensive and not as efficient as batteries it is the main thing holding back solar car development.
We have had solar assisted hybrids and pure electric cars for years now, and it looks like that is the way it will be for a while. The closest we will get in the near future is solar charged cars. This is already happening at many Tesla supercharging stations and it is a good sign of progress. Once we develop better solar cells I think we will see many more attempts at a purely solar car.