Can Solar Cars Jump From Promising Experiment to the Real Road?

February 20, 2024|Solar Cars

A year ago, the Kawasaki city authority launched a zero-emission EV station that charges with solar power generated from the panels installed on the garage rooftop. However, a half-day was needed to fully recharge a Toyota Motor model C-Pod, which is a two-seat EV. Needless to say, this frustrated the driver.

The city authority could only suggest multiple recharges, which clearly isn’t a viable option in everyday life. But what if there was another option. What if an EV driver had a solar-powered car with panels on the car’s roof. This revolutionary idea would forgo the need for charging stations, and could potentially upend the current dominant EV model and its charging paradigm.

Across the globe, inventors andengineers have already made test drives of such prototype solar cars. The same is true in Japan, which could lay claim to being one of the leaders in this area, and is making significant strides thanks to state support. Several miles of uninterrupted drives have been clocked, but getting such a solar- powered vehicle to travel long distances on a single charge remains a challenge. If the technical and cost issues can be solved, then solar cars could trigger the next mobility revolution. But what is the current status of the technology?

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