The popularity of solar vehicles is gaining significant ground lately, though gasoline-fueled cars still prevail in the automotive market. Solar cars are cars that are powered by solar energy. The cars feature solar panels on their upper surface. Photovoltaic cells power up the vehicle when connected to a 48-volt battery charger. Their role is to convert sunlight into electricity.
Solar vehicles are great when you want to protect the environment because they do not generate gas emissions. The invention of the solar car is what makes possible the renewable power in the car industry. It reduces pollution and it is a transportation method that many people would prefer.
Nevertheless, owning such a car will bring you both benefits and disadvantages. One such disadvantage would be the inferior speed. A solar car cannot benefit from the same power as a vehicle that runs on fossil fuels. This is because its electrical backup battery is powered by solar energy, which varies from one day to another. Therefore, solar cars can only be driven at a slower pace.
Another issue would be safety. Solar cars are usually very light, unlike big cars, whose frames consist of a lot of steel. In case of collisions, a car with a heavy steel body will absorb the impact, protecting the victims. This is something that cannot be said about solar vehicles, as they are limited in power and could not support a heavy steel frame, plus they depend on the solar cells placed all over their body. Due to their small size, they are considered to be dangerous in case an accident happens.
Just like solar panels made for houses, the panels that cover the upper surface of a solar car are designed to absorb the sunlight in order to generate heat. But this is not possible when the night falls or when the sky is covered with clouds. So, you might encounter problems when you want to drive in unfriendly weather conditions, as the car’s performance will be affected.
If you are planning to buy a solar car, then you have to think carefully about the way you will maintain it. The surface of such cars is covered in solar energy collectors; any sharp blow could damage them. Replacing these collectors could cost you a lot of money. Further expenses will appear if you need to change the rechargeable battery system of the car.
The decision of buying a solar car is not an easy one. One should weigh both advantages and disadvantages. However, solar cars make a great investment if you think at the long-term benefits. There will be no need to spend money with gasoline or other types of fuels.