The next step to emission-free driving is closer than you might think. We are not referring to current hybrid or electric cars, but to a much more ambitious project: solar cars. Some companies have been working on this vehicle for the last few years and it seems that the research is already paying off.
Until now, solar cars seemed more like a futuristic movie idea. And it is true that many companies, including Tesla, do not consider their commercialization in the short or medium term. The risk of trying to mass-sell a car that is so expensive to build is still high for any company. Nonetheless, there are those who have begun to activate the levers, in the purest Barça style, to start in this new sector.
Thus, we already know the Tianjin, a Chinese solar car in which 42 companies and three universities have been involved for months. The result of their work is a model 4 meters long and with capacity for four people. It has an advanced autonomous driving system, with technologies that even allow you to do without the steering wheelreplaced by a screen and a series of buttons, as can be seen in the test video.
The evolution of photovoltaic panels It is what allows vehicles like this to be loaded and provided with autonomy by having them incorporated. The case of Tianjin is quite specific, since it is a car that would practically drive itself. This detail does not seem so attractive to companies like Aptera Motors or Lightyear, also at the forefront in the creation of solar cars, since it requires a considerable increase in costs. For this reason, both companies have chosen to create more traditional models, with which they can reach the market as soon as possible and make the transition easier for the buyer.
Solar cars, ready for the end of 2022?
Aptera has been working on an electric and solar car that promises a range of up to 64 kilometers a day, regardless of whether it is stopped, or in circulation. It has the ability to recharge its batteries with solar energy or with a plug-in system. It has a very futuristic design, with two front wheels and one rear, as well as a body similar to a capsule taken from Star Wars. Its starting price starts at $25,900 and the company hopes to bring it to the US market… at the end of 2022!
Aptera Motors has opted for a futuristic design for its solar car Twitter
At first, it seems unfeasible to think that we will take the grapes with a solar car on the market, but perhaps we will have it even sooner. And it is that the solar car that Dutch company Lightyear has been working on is now ready for production. This vehicle contains 5-square-meter solar panels distributed between the roof and the hood, which can reach up to seven months of charge just by feeding on the sun’s rays in the sunniest places. Its battery allows it to reach 70 kilometers of autonomy per day and promises to charge up to 11,000 kilometers per year. The starting price of this model, the light year 0, is 25,000 euros and will be on sale this fall.
The Lightyear 0 has a design more similar to that of any tourism Twitter
It is clear that Lightyear and Aptera are going to be the first dominators of the solar car market, each with their own tactics. Lightyear’s goal is to reach an affordable market, without exceeding the cost of 30,000 euros for the driver. The Aptera’s intentions are still not so clear, as it will not even enter the European market when the production of your vehicle begins, but everything indicates that there will be no cost cap, as in the case of Lightyear.
Lightyear promises to be a more profitable and economical option in the long term Twitter
But are only Lightyear and Aptera at the helm of the project? In reality, there are many companies that are already working on the creation of solar cars, but, aware that the solar charging system is not yet perfect, most are opting for develop hybrids that combine the best of electric cars and solar cars. These are supported by the energy received from a charging station, leaving the solar source only as something that offers additional battery. Such is the case of the Squad Solar City by Squad Mobility, a light electric quadricycle with self-recharging capacity through solar panels.
The Squad Solar City is intended for circulation by city Twitter
Solar cars can be very tempting, but experts maintain that they are not yet up to the task of being completely trustworthy, and recommend use them as a complementary technology and not a substitute, since the sun does not shine the same every day, nor will our needs to be covered be always the same. Fortunately, some companies like Lightyear They allow you to try them before you buy them.so the hope of being able to ride one is not lost.
Solar cars will hit the market very soon: what features do they have?