Solar Power Car

A solar power car uses the sun's energy instead of non-renewable energy sources such as gasoline, which makes it an attractive option for our planet's future. Why don't we see more of them?

solar power car

Solar energy cars are outfitted with hundreds of solar cells that "catch" the sun's rays, converting them into electricity, and powering all of the car's systems without emitting harmful substances into the atmosphere.

As you can see, solar cars are by far the most distinctive looking vehicles made to date!

solar energy car

They're aerodynamically designed for all around efficiency, including a wider surface area intended to expose the solar cells to as much sunlight as possible.

Some people might say they resemble a fancy racing car with their unusual shapes. This special design helps to reduce wind friction, or drag, which makes the car slice through the air more efficiently.

A solar power car is significantly lighter in weight than a gasoline-powered vehicle, but has many of the same features. For example, a solar car has a steering wheel, brakes, seats, a motor, and several others similar to a gas-powered car. Solar cars currently built by universities and car manufacturers are prototypes of what solar cars might be in the future.

The research being conducted is helpful for determining what the advantages and disadvantages of a solar power car might be and how these eco-friendly modes of transportation might be improved in order to become the rule, rather than the exception.

Advantages of Solar Powered Cars

  • Extremely quiet when in operation

  • Very little maintenance required

  • Less expensive to "fuel"
  • No harmful emissions into the environment

  • Require simply an electric motor and electric generator

  • Energy efficient

  • Able to achieve the same speed as a small gasoline-powered car

  • Solar cars can produce full power at any given speed (gasoline cars cannot)

Drawbacks of Solar Powered Cars

  • Solar cars are dependent on the weather, so travel would be prohibited on overcast, rainy, or snowy days and at night

  • Batteries aren't designed to go for long distances (if there's no sun, the car reverts to battery power)

  • Service stations for re-charging a solar car battery aren't yet readily available across the country

  • Materials required to build the batteries and the bodies of the solar cars are highly toxic

  • Seating accommodates one or two people, so families wouldn't benefit from a solar powered vehicle

  • Cost-prohibitive for the average person

How Much do Solar Powered Cars Cost?

The first solar car released on the market, which was around January 2008, had a sticker price of roughly $100,000. The price range currently is anywhere between $100,000-$200,000.

As you can see, these vehicles are not attainable for anyone earning an average yearly income, which is the majority of the population!

Despite this current limitation, more people are becoming interested in solar energy cars, and are beginning to share information about the process, and even to build solar power cars.

In many ways, solar cars are not yet a practical choice as primary modes of transportation, but who knows what future discoveries will bring?

There is always hope that the materials required to manufacture solar powered vehicles will become more affordable and that many of us will soon have the option of driving eco-friendly cars that are powered naturally by the sun's rays.

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