Once a neglected contender in the automobile industry due to feasibility and expensiveness, the startups and researchers have extensively worked together to harness a practical car powered by the energy from sun.
Stella Lux, the world's first solar-powered family car made of carbon fibre, was developed by Dutch Students from Netherland's Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e). This four-seater car generates electricity via 62 sqft of solar cells and has a battery pack of 15kWh. It can travel 620-680 miles (1,000-1,100 km) on a single charge and has a top speed of 125km/h (78mph). The car powered by the sun generates more energy than it uses. The "stella" is built with incredible aerodynamics and calculates the most optimal route for the destination considering both the weather and the traffic via a smartphone app. The navigation system is also capable of determining the route with highest radiation for rechargin the battery. The 'Solar Team Eindhoven' which built the "Stella" have also won the title of Cruiser Class of the World Solar Challenge 2013.#2. HANERGY's SOLAR CARS
Hanergy, a chinese multinational renewable energy company, unveiled four zero-emission, solar-powered vehicles earlier this year. These cars use thin gallium arsenide (GaAs) dual-junction solar cells that can generate 8-10kWh/day, powering the vehicles to 80km (around 50 miles) with 5-6 hours of sunlight. The Lithium-ion batteries, when charged from the charging posts, housed in these cars will enable the vehicles to travel for 350km's per charge. The company has also partnered with Aston Martin for developing solar-powered race car.#3. SION
Sion is a crowd-funded solar-powered car developed by Sono Motors that can travel 250km's on a single charge. It also enables you to travel an extra 30km from electricity generated via 7.5 meter square of integrated solar cells. The roof, bonnet and the entire body is made of highly efficient mono crystalline solar cells covered by a 8mm thick layer of polycarbonate. This 6-seater car powered by a 50kW motor can reach speeds upto 140km/h. The breSono system in the car uses an excellent natural air filitration method, a special lichen (moss), to filter out fine dust particles and maintain the humidity levels all by itself. The moss also serves as a natural flame retardant and sound absorbing system. The car is priced between $13,200 - $17,600.#4. Ford C-Max Solar Energi
Ford's C-Max Solar Energi car is a hybrid variant of the C-Max Energi with a solar-powered charging apparatus for it's 7.6-kWh lithium-ion battery pack. The battery powers a 118-hp AC electric motor that complements a 2.0-liter four-cylinder gas engine. A fully charged battery can provide a range of 21 miles. Ford partnered with Sunpower Corporation & Georgia Institute of Technology to develop first-of-its-kind unique solar panels and concentrator devices to be housed on the roof of the car. The car was first seen at the tech-intensive 2014 Consumer Electronics Show(CES) in Las Vegas, and it’s slated for production by 2018-2020.#5. Sunswift's eVe
Sunswift's eVe, Australia's crowd-funded road-legal solar-powered sports car features a 60kg lithium-ion battery storage that offers the vehicle a range of 500-800km's on a single charge. The University of New South Wales Sunswift team eVe's posted a top speed of 140kph to smash a 26-year world record in the year 2014. eVe sports a 800 watt Sunpower silicon solar cells and a 60kg lithium-ion battery storage from Panasonic. The pack delivers power to 2 Marand in-hub motors, developed by Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO). The battery takes around 20 hours of sunlight to fully charge.