Anonymous
Anonymous asked in EnvironmentAlternative Fuel Vehicles · 1 decade ago

how come car companies haven't come up with a solar powered car yet?

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  • 1 decade ago
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    They have, they're just not mainstream because they aren't very efficeint. Solar power pannels don't collect 100% of light, and cars need to run on a lot more fuel than solar powered panels can offer.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Because no one (to first approximation) would actually want to drive one everyday.

    The sun does put out a lot of energy but only about a one kilowatt per square metre actually makes it to the Earth's surface of that we can only convert at best about 20% of that into electricity (using very expensive PV cells).

    So the solar powered cars are single person things that don't have air conditioning and only get up to good speeds in the desert (and even then you'd be hard pressed to reach the speed limit on a typical country road).

    They also don't work at night and go a lot slower when there are clouds.

    Putting batteries in them would be a possibility but that makes them heavier (batteries are very heavy) meaning more power is required to move the car which also requires the solar panels to change up for even longer than your trip will be and before you know it you end up better off just charging it by plugging it into the wall.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    They have. Solar powered vehicles have been around for years. Queens University had the record winner for a LONG time (see link).

    You should be able to tell from the design of the car that most cars are too heavy to be powered just by solar power.

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  • fred
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    Any electric car can be solar powered.

    eg http://www.green-car-guide.com/features/this-is-th...

    Tesla Motors can arrange installation of solar panels on an owners home or owners can purchase electricity that has been created by the company’s large scale solar farm partners. This pollution-free electricity is fed into the grid and directly offsets the electricity used to charge the car.

    it is not practical to put on the car because of the extra weight & wind resistance, the area required, and little issues like driving through tunnels in cities like Boston where there is little light at street level.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Many car companies HAVE come up with solar powered cars. However, the technology is not practical at this point, mostly because the problem of power storage for night and cloudy day use is difficult to overcome.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Well, if the motor had 150 horsepower it would take 112 kilowatts. Ok. A square-foot of solar cells would put out 10 watts and cost $56. To produce the needed 112 kilowatts you would need 11,200 square feet of solar panels and $630,000. The ones on tv are extremely efficient, lightweight, and are made with very high quality parts.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    If you can figure out how to make a solar powered car that works on a cloudy day, you'll make a foutune.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    A number of solar power cars have been developed, but none are practical for everyday use.

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  • A.V.R.
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    At present, 50 W Hr./sq.ft/ good sunny day day in the tropics is the deliverable power from a solar panel.

    This is too small to power any passenger car.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    because they won't meet the demands of the average driver.

    The BEST solar cars made so far have been used in the "Sunrayce" series of college competitions... and have averaged about 30 mph for 2 hours on a good day.

    $500,000 for a competitive car...

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