Are solar powered cars something that we could see in the future? There is a lot of hope for this technology, although it is still in its early development stages. Despite it not being commercially viable for a 100% powered vehicle right now, there are some advantages and disadvantages to using solar power on cars and other vehicles.
The Pros of Solar Powered Cars
1. It would virtually eliminate pollution.
Although fossil fuels and CO2 would likely continue to be produced with the manufacturing process of solar panels and vehicles, the ongoing pollution would be removed with solar power. Over time, this could contribute to a reduction of the potential global warming threat.
2. They can immediately improve fuel efficiency.
When solar power is equipped to traditional fuel vehicles, the extra power boost won’t eliminate pollution, but it does create less of a need for oil. With 70% of the billions of barrels of oil the US uses annually going to transportation, a small improvement can create big results.
3. It eliminates the need for ongoing fuel costs.
If a car were 100% solar powered, then there would no longer be a need to stop for fuel. Electricity could supplement the solar power on dark days or at night as an alternative to fuel as well to further reduce the need for fossil fuels.
The Cons of Solar Powered Cars
1. Power consumption is a major problem.
For solar powered cars, their size is limited because of the power requirements a vehicle has. The modern 100% solar vehicle only carries one person and is lightweight enough that an accident would be problematic.
2. The costs are still high.
Although solar panel technology has been dramatically improving over the past decade, there is still enough of a premium cost that will prevent many households from investing in a solar powered car for some years to come.
3. It still couldn’t be driven all night.
Even with a full electrical charge supplementing solar power storage, it would be impossible to drive all night with this type of vehicle with current technology. Some sort of combustible fuel would need to be used.
Although a solar power car may not be commercially viable right now, there are ways that solar power can be added to existing designs to make vehicles more efficient. By examining the pros and cons of this technology, it can continue to move forward in development.
Crystal Lombardo is a contributing editor for Vision Launch. Crystal is a seasoned writer and researcher with over 10 years of experience. She has been an editor of three popular blogs that each have had over 500,000 monthly readers.