Saturday, June 2, 2012

Are Solar Powered Cars the Future?

Every time you pull up to a gas pump to full your tank you're probably cringing at the cost per gallon. With the prices of gas at an all-time high, people are jumping on the bandwagon of electric cars and hybrids. Having one of these cars can save you some money while reducing the harmful emissions produced from burning fuel. This is all good and well to invest in, but hybrids still run on gasoline at the end of the day and electric cars, for lack of a better explanation, use your electricity. You're still spending money to use your car whether you like it or not. But what if there was another way to drive without harming the planet and can save you money in the process?

Solar power is the world's number one source of renewable energy currently and it's only going to become more popular as time goes on. Over 1 million homes and businesses in the United States have already gone solar, with many more in the process of joining them. If you research solar on the internet, you'll find that there are many solar powered hand held objects; for instance there are solar powered flash lights, backpacks, cell phone charges, hand held lights, driveway lights, and even water bottles. So if we can invent ways to power our everyday objects and energy needs, then why haven't we established a solar powered car? Many would think that just strapping a panel or two to the roof of a car would suffice. But it doesn't work like that.

Retaining enough of the sun's energy to power a full sized sedan is more difficult than you think. For one, it's difficult to move such a heavy object by just using the sun. Cars need to much lighter in order for the idea to work effectively. There are several events each year where engineers and inventors race their very own solar powered vehicles. If you do you research, you'll see that most of them are extremely small, usually fit one person, and resemble something out of a space movie. You might be thinking, "well we have Smart Cars, Mini Coopers, and Fiat's popping up everywhere", while that may be true, you have to also think about how many people are in your average American family today. According to the 2010 census, there's an average of 2.59 people living in the average US home. If you take the idea of a solar powered car as it is right now, it wouldn't be a working idea. The more people you put into a car the heavier it will be (duh).

Aside from the car not being able to drive with the current solar powered car technology, it's pretty costly build. To reconfigure an entire car to drive 100% on solar would cost thousands to complete, maybe more. The car would need to be a totally different design than today's cars; more aerodynamic to move freely, more roof space to utilize the maximum amount of solar panels, and weigh less to actually keep its efficiency.

But most importantly, solar panels need sunny days to function. What happens when it's raining out or overcast? Would it keep you from driving to your destination? Solar generated on a sunny day would need to be stored in extra batteries inside of the car (also making the car heavier). Also, not everyone drives during the day. What would happen if you took your solar powered car out at night? That's another technological glitch these solar car inventors are working on.

Don't fret because solar powered cars will one day become a reality. The technology is constantly advancing into better, more productive ways every day. And although we can't effectively use solar to power the entire car right now, we can use panels to power parts of the car; such as the air conditioner, radio, and even the headlights!

Interested in going solar for $0 down? Contact Raytricity today!

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