It wasn’t long ago that electric cars just didn’t seem like a viable option…ever. Have they evolved to a degree where solar car technology is a reality? And what could that mean for the auto market?
A Chinese company named Hanergy Holding Group (for real) has developed a way to power an electric car with solar power alone (again, for real). Using ultra-thin solar cells strategically placed on the vehicle, enough power can be collected and stored to power an electric car without any additional charging.
On just five or six hours of sunlight, the solar car’s cells can collect enough energy to power an electric car for a range of 50 miles (80 km). Obviously, if it’s sunny for longer, you can get more range. If it’s cloudy or raining, you can plug the car in still. It’s being touted as “zero charging” possible.
Hanergy’s car, the Hanergy Solar R, has been developed to the point where it is now ready to be commercialized. There’s no word on if or when production may start or what kind of cost would be associated with a solar-powered car.