If there is no such thing as a free lunch, how about a free ride? Think of how wonderful it would be if your car could continue running without you spending a dime on fuel. It seems like something taken out from a sci-fi movie, right? Researchers and car manufacturers have come up with a car model that represents an important step forward in eco-friendly cars. Solar powered cars are the newest invention that step by step is becoming more advanced. Imagine you drove a solar powered car, that auto dream would come true. Much like the solar powered homes, this type of cars take their energy from the sun, converting into electricity. The shell of the car is covered with solar panels that attracts the solar rays and put into motion the engine of the car.
Solar cars can accomplish this through the photovoltaic cells that are the components in solar panelling that converts the sun’s energy to electricity. The engine of the car is made is from semiconductors, usually made made of silicon, that absorb light. The sunlight’s energy then frees electrons in the semiconductors, creating a flow of electrons. Next, the flow of electrons powers up the battery or the specialised car motor in solar cars. If you think that these cars are something new, you should know that researchers have testing prototypes of these cars since the 1970s. In 1977, Ed Passerini built his own completely solar powered called the Bluebird. Recently, big car companies such as Ford, Mazda or Cadillac have tested waters with solar hybrid concept cars. In 2006, Ford installed solar panels in the headlights of the cars, and in 2005 Mazda featured solar panels on the roof of the cars, in order to help charge its battery.
Even if the weather is not favourable for the solar cars, the vehicle can still be recharged. However, you should know that these cars are still prototypes and have not been put on sale yet. Researchers are still testing it and trying to come up with ways of improving the solar powered cars. In the near or distant future, these cars will have a major positive impact on the environment, since they will considerably diminish the level of pollution, as well as saving a lot of money, since people will not have to buy gasoline. On the long run, solar powered cars are a great investment.