Are Solar Cars The Future for the World’s Roads?

According to research from the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), the pollutants which come from vehicle exhausts and power plants across the globe are having a damaging effect on the environment and the health of the general public.

For many of us such information is nothing new, but this doesn’t escape the fact that these harmful global pollution levels are a real issue. On top of this, cars and other vehicles are something countries around the world rely on and simply cannot do without. This does seem like a vicious circle, but steps have been taken to help in the fight against pollution. There have been breakthroughs in more fuel-efficient engines and hybrid technology, but we’ve yet to see a completely clean source of transport in the mainstream markets.

This could be about to change however, with a recent announcement from Hanergy Holding Group Ltd. This Chinese firm is already an established powerhouse in the clean energy sector, specialising in creating and manufacturing sustainable energy. According to a recent report by China Daily, it has been revealed that in October this year (2015), they will present ‘three to five different cars’ powered purely by solar energy.

Developing Eco-Technology

Using a special ‘thin-film solar battery, measuring 6 square meters’ on the cars, it has been reported their cars can be powered for ’80 to 100 kilometres’ after a charging period of only four hours. Forbes.com also revealed how the firm is about to partner with the American firm Tesla Motors; Tesla being another specialist firm in the development of electric cars. This partnership is being seen as a possible indication of Hanergy’s desire to provide their eco-friendly solar cars for the US markets.

Other Existing Projects

Such vehicles are not completely unheard of. Previous endeavours into this technology include a 3-D printed solar car from a group of students at a University in Singapore and a Nigerian student who turned an old VW Beetle into a solar-powered off-road vehicle. Although, it must be said, these examples are very much in the prototype stages.

The hope is to have these solar vehicles widely available within the next few years. Naturally, as with many new technologies, there are bound to be teething problems and drivers will want to consider cover for potential breakdowns as well as regular safety checks.