Why Don’t Solar Powered Cars Exist?


From Engineering Explained.

Solar power is abundant and readily available, so why don’t cars use it?
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With electric cars becoming more popular and a shift towards renewable energy sources is taking place, an obvious question becomes: why don’t we simply put solar panels on top of cars? Could this help with the lack of charging infrastructure? Realistically, what would it take for solar powered cars to work out, and why haven’t they been successful up until this point?

This video will analyze the surface area of a modern car, providing an estimate for how much solar power it could actually generate, what speeds the cars could be capable of, and how long the cars would take to charge. We’ll take into consideration the solar constant, the amount of solar power that actually reaches Earth’s surface, the efficiency limits of solar panels, the curvature of the Earth (it isn’t flat), and analyze how this impacts a solar car’s performance. We’ll also check out Aptera Motors, who’s planning to make a car that will never need to charge, thanks to solar panels!

Solar Constant – https://doi.org/10.1029/2010GL045777
Global Consumption – https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=41433
Surface Energy – https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/features/EnergyBalance
Solar Efficiency – https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00901283
Aptera Motors "Never Charge" – https://www.aptera.us/never-charge

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