Ah, the Sun. That humongous fireball in the sky, spitting heat, making our days bright, making us sweat gallons from time to time and forcing us to put on loads of sunscreen. Sure it’s the source of life as we know it but wouldn’t it be great if we could utilize it more? Like using those golden photon packed rays to run, I don’t know, our cars perhaps? Seems cool, no? If only we could stop consuming that terrible amount of fuel and just run on good free solar induced energy.
Well, good news for us that solar powered cars are being worked on. Sure, they haven’t been manufactured on a commercial basis yet but they’re coming along. Solar Car could be the answer to all our energy crisis issues.
Top 5 Solar Powered Cars
Following are some really cool top 5 solar-powered cars in the world.
1. Tokai Challenger
A Japanese team from Tokai University competed annually in the World Solar Challenge and won first place in 2009 and 2011. In 2009, The Tokai Challenger was successfully able to run a course of 3000 kilometers (approximately 1,864 miles) for 29 hours and 49 minutes at an average speed of 63 mph in an Australian desert terrain, as reported by Wired.
The car was equipped with high energy solar cells used in space crafts having an output of 1.8 kilowatts.
It has also won South African Solar Challenge in 2010 by running a distance of 4061 km (2517 miles) in 45 hours and 5 minutes at an average speed of 55 mph.
Nuna, A solar car was designed by a team of students called Team Nuon at Delft University of Technology, Netherlands in order to compete in the World Solar Challenge back in 2006-2007. Its predecessor is a series of modified with time from all the way from Nuna, Nuna2 to Nuna8. Nuna3, famous for accomplishing a hat trick by winning the World Solar Challenge for three times in a row by averaging a speed of 63 mph.
Due to safety issues arisen during the challenges, Nuna series have been subjected to modifications. Nuna8 now has features such as the driver space to allowing the driver to sit. A steering wheel has been installed instead of a lever and the surface area of the Nuna8 is rather bigger.
3. Lightyear One
Solar cars have been used in races and shown off their capacity to run merely on sunlight. But when it comes to manufacturing such cars and struggling to bring them on our roads, Lightyear One is among the top projects. It recently won a Climate Change Innovator Award. Another Dutch feat, designed by a startup called Lightyear, claims to be able to run a 400-800 kilometer ranger without needing to recharge. The first 10 fully solar powered cars available for selling will be released in 2019.
Developed by Sono Motors, Germany, Sion isn’t an entirely solar-powered car but rather a hybrid. It is an electric car powered by a dual combination of batteries and solar cells. Sono Motors has been successful at being able to attract quite an audience in a short while, it still has to announce a date of release. The company has however shown intentions of launching the Sion within its own country first.
The Sion has a network of more than 300 solar cells on its surface and the company claims that it can harvest sunlight enough for a run time of 30 kilometers (18 miles) under a healthy amount of sunlight.
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A solar-powered family car as claimed by the developers, another Dutch team called Eindhoven, was crowned champion in the annual solar race across Australia where teams from all over the world participated. Stella Vie, the successor of Stella Lux is claimed to be the future family car with its ability to carry five people at an average speed of 69 km/h. Commercial availability is yet unknown but on the account of design, energy consumption, mileage and innovation it promises, it could be the ultimate family car as reported by The Guardian.