Solar Cars: Possible But Not Practical
A lot of people talk about how switching to alternative energy sources could help out with solving the problem of global warming. Some examples of these alternative energy sources are wind and solar power, as well as bio fuels. I am going to focus on one of these solar power. I believe that solar could very well be a new and popular clean energy source. But solar-powered cars are the main thing that interests me.
The term “solar-powered car” is kind of deceiving because you see it and think, “Oh wow! That car runs completely on solar power”. But the thing is, cars only partially run on solar energy. As I was reading an article I found out that cars that use solar energy also have a battery, which powers the engine, but solar panels on the top of the car can charge that battery. Also some other cars can use solar power just to power the headlights.
There are a few reasons that cars do not run on solar power. First, solar-powered cars are very expensive. A reasonable priced solar car can only go up to 30 mph, and cars need to be able to reach highway speeds. A race solar powered racecar can go 60 miles per hour but cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. And most people today don’t have that kind of money to spend on eco-friendly cars.
The second reason that completely solar cars would never work is that they look ridiculous and look like a vehicle from an alien planet! And they only seat one person. Now I now you might say that it would look cool but honestly? Do you want to drive around in this?
Picture Credit: howstuffworks
And the lastly, cars can’t run completely on solar energy because of the weather. Your car has to work rain or shine and cloudy or clear. So when the sun is not out one day, how are you going to get to work? That is why cars have solar panels as well as electric energy, so that you can charge it up on a sunny day but still be able to make it through the stormy days.
So is a completely solar powered car possible? Yes under the right circumstances. And is it in most people’s budgets? Probably not. So I think that solar cars are a topic that we will need to ease into and evolve from car model to car model to make the most efficient type of car that uses some solar power.