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Oct 22

Where Are The Solar Powered Cars?

solar powered car

As long as stories of villains, antagonists and disgruntled good-guys-turned-bad exist, so too shall plots to save the world from total destruction prevail.

Think of this scene. Protagonists, immersed in depressed memories of past pains, delivering justice to the world from bad guys who just so happen to have stumbled on an instrument of the highest ultimate power, “unlimited sustainable energy!”

To cut the long story short, all goes well for our hero and the world is once again at peace. But, of course comes at the cost of losing the instrument of unlimited energy. It’s all too clichéd. Don’t get me wrong, I love movies! I live for the sci-fi genre tales with riveting apocalyptic elements. But with all my undying hankering for these legends, I still live in the real world. A world that has a lacking source of the unlimited sustainable energy that the fictions are so abundant of!

Can you imagine a world devoid of polluted, ozone-layer-killing, carbon-emitting fossil fuel? Wouldn’t that be awesome?! Just the thought of actually owning a vehicle that’s environmentally friendly and costs zero petrol is exhilarating! So the question is… where is it?

The search for renewable energy dates back to as long as, I don’t know, ancient times? From cave men days of fire to the industrial era of coal energy, we are still without answer today. With all the available natural resources we have that seem a viable source of renewable energy; one would wonder why our cars still need frequent refills at the gas station. We have wind, water, electricity and the most powerful of any energy source, the sun! That’s the perfect solution! Let’s just use the sun, right? Houses, buildings and space stations are solar powered so why can’t our autos?

Automobiles fitted with solar panels have been tried and tested for over 2 decades. It, however, has never really obtained an audience with the majority of the world. You’ve probably heard of the solar powered buggies in Australia were they hold the World Solar Challenge. It’s a racing tournament for 100 percent solar powered buggies! It’s great and all, but does it prove that solar energy is the future for our cars?

We know now that the technology exists, right? So what’s keeping car manufacturers from developing solar sedans and SUVs for the mass market? Here are 3 of the biggest challenges.

Size

Well frankly, automobiles are just too small to be fitted with enough solar panels to be power sufficient. Solar panels require a large surface area to be efficient and effective, dealing with the technology today, though disappointing it may be, it just won’t fit on the roof of our cars.

 

Cost

Solar panels are not cheap! Current solar powered car productions are costing over $30000 to $1 million. Take that sun! Although solar energy is becoming more and more affordable each year, seeing the prices drop to “affordable” levels adequate for the average car-nut is still far off.

Efficiency

With the current car-solar technology existing today, efficiency is not yet part of the brochure. Due to the need for space, solar panels fitted on to the roof of a car simply cannot promise distance and reliability.

Renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, and electric are definitely the future for our beloved automobiles. How near that future is, I cannot tell. Only one thing is for certain, and it’s that one day the world will be powered by unlimited sustainable energy. That is, if the villains don’t get their hands on it!

Author bio:

+Juree Goode loves to eat and travel. She mainly loves the outdoors and has a thing for rough roads. During her free time, she watches Australian off road racing and Dakkar when it’s in season. Her favorite past time is to write whatever runs through her head, which most of the time filled with images of the next 4wd ute, or pickup truck shes eyeing on.

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