The next big thing in electric vehicles is almost here. Solar-powered cars are coming and coming soon. Most of the solar-powered cars that are on the way only get a few miles per day charge from the sun. But at least one solar-powered car, the Lightyear One, will travel up to 300 – 500 miles per day on sunlight alone. Another solar-powered car called the Sono Sion has a 155-mile range and can go 18 miles even on an empty battery just on the power of the sun alone.
The Lightyear One
The Lightyear One is a beautiful looking car. Of all the solar-powered cars that are coming, it has the longest range. Its incredible range comes thanks to the technology that maximizes its performance with a smaller than usual battery. To draw power from the sun, the Lightyear One is fitted with 16 square feet of solar cells. The car can also be charged by plugging it in. The Lightyear One’s incredible range means that some owners will likely be able to go long periods without plugging in. 300 – 500 miles a day is more than enough to cover lots of people’s daily commute!
The Sono Sion
The Sono Scion looks a lot like many of the small four-door EVs on the road today. The Sion offers a 155-mile range, which is likely enough for many people to be able to skip charging. It can also be plugged in to recharge just like a regular EV. According to the manufacturer, even if it’s battery was empty, the Sion could travel 18 miles just on the power of the sun alone.
Solar assisted cars
Major manufacturers are jumping into the solar car market as well. Toyota is planning to release a version of the Prius that has 860 watts of solar panels on it which can supply up to 27.6 miles of range. Like all Priuses, it’s a hybrid so it also has a gas engine.
Hyundai is also planning to release a solar-powered car. They are adding solar cells to their plug-in hybrid Sonata. The company says that up to 60% of the power needed to charge the car’s battery could be supplied by its solar cells if it is allowed to charge for six hours per day.
A solar-powered VW Bug
A man in Nigeria didn’t wait for solar-powered cars to be manufactured, he made his own. Segun Oyeyiola, a Nigerian engineering student, retrofitted a Volkswagen Bug with a solar panel on the roof. His Bug can travel a little over 20 miles on sunlight alone. While that may not seem like a lot of range, when you consider that he spent only $5,500 to build his solar-powered bug, it’s a truly impressive achievement!
Solar power is the future
The fact that solar-powered cars are on the way is an exciting development. Imagine having a car that virtually never runs out of power and doesn’t cost anything to charge. Owning a car like that would save you thousands of dollars per year versus the cost of putting gas in your car.
The same thing goes for installing solar power at your home. You get worry-free power that saves you money on the cost of electricity. Combine that worry-free power with an EV or any solar-powered car, and you get savings on both gas and electricity!