1. A solar car is an electric vehicle, powered directly by solar energy, using Photovoltaic (PV) cells. They convert the solar energy directly into electricity.
2. Solar electric car can also move at night because during the day the batteries conserve solar energy.
3. The first solar car racers are the brothers Hans Tholstrup and Larry Perkins on the Solar Trek from Perth to Sydney (Australia) in 1983-1983 with the car named “Quiet Achiever” at a 20 km/h speed.
4. Solar power cars are still in the stage of experimentation. Toyota Prius already has introduced solar energy in its central energy system.
5. The fastest solar-powered car is Sunswift IV, 88.738 km/hr. It was built by the University of New South Wales Solar Racing Team and driven by Barton Mawer in 2011 in AustraliaSolar cars designs is similar with the technology used in the aerospace, bicycle, alternative energy and automotive industries.
6. The design of a solar vehicle is severely limited by the amount of energy input into the car. Most solar cars have been built for the purpose of solar car races. Exceptions include solar-powered cars and utility vehicles.
7. The major benefits of the solar cars are:
The sun, as energy source, is for free
Except the battery replacement, there are no additional maintenance procedures
8. The most notable solar car races are:
Tour de Sol in 1985 in Switzerland – the first solar car race!
World Solar Challenge and the North American Solar Challenge are the 2 world’s famous solar car races!
World Solar Challenge – it is a 3000 km race in Australia from Darwin to Adelaide.
North American Solar Challenge is a solar car 1200-1800 mile rally event, offers the possibility of participating vehicles from all over the world.
South African Solar Challenge is auto racing in South Africa, on a distance of 4100 km. For the first time it was organized in 2008. Participants may be hybrid car, solar cars or electric cars.
Solar Car Challenge is a solar car race, organized in America particularly for for high school students. The main idea is encouragement for the students to bring some new ideas and innovations in the field of technology, engineering and alternative energy. It is sponsored by Dell and Hunt Oil Company and it happen after two years education cycle!