What does the future hold for solar-powered transportation? These are the questions we will be exploring in this article.
As a driver, sooner or later you will have to ask yourself how much pollution you personally add to the environment when you drive a car. Indeed, it is said that private vehicles alone contribute an astounding 73% of transportation-related pollution. Most private vehicles are cars, right?
You have no doubt heard about the impact that the increase of human-caused carbon dioxide has on the planet. So while you should always learn of the eco-friendly ways to extend your car’s life, also learn how to extend the earth’s life.
Like electric cars, solar-powered cars are expected to revolutionize the transportation industry. But how far or near is the transition? Should you pause your plans to learn to drive a car until after the transition?
We want to take a break from teaching you how to drive and instead grapple with these and other questions about solar-powered cars.
How Does A Solar-Powered Car Work?
The solar panels convert the sun’s energy into electrical energy, which then powers various household devices and gadgets, industrial machines, and even solar cars. The car solar panels are installed at the top of the vehicle so as to be exposed to the sun.
Believe it or not, the first solar-powered vehicle hit the road in 1977, so this is not a new concept. It has always been in the making.
Benefits of Solar Energy
It Has No Fuel Costs.
It is cheap compared to other energy sources used to power vehicles; you buy the solar panel just once. Oil-powered vehicles will require a refill each time the petrol or diesel has been depleted.
The solar panel is expensive, but once you buy it, there will be no fuel costs as solar energy is free. All you need is the sun.
It Is Clean.
Solar energy is clean energy, unlike fossil fuel. It does not pollute the environment. There is no to minimal use of fossil fuel on solar-powered vehicles. While oil can be required to lubricate some external moving parts like the tires, it is not much of a necessity in a solar-powered car.
The increased use of solar power on cars will reduce the Carbon Dioxide emissions caused by the use of oil. Apart from pollution caused during the production of the solar panels, there are no other waste emissions caused by using a solar-powered car.
But driving oil-powered vehicles leads to the emission of environmentally harmful gases into the atmosphere, leading to climate change.
The supply of solar energy is unlimited. Unlike fossil fuels, it cannot be depleted as it depends on energy from the sun, which is a renewable resource. The sun will always shine in the foreseeable future.
The oil reserves will one day run out. The reduced supply of oil will gradually bring about challenges too as the price will continue rising.
Solar-powered vehicles are more comfortable compared to traditional, oil-powered vehicles. They are smaller and lighter, making them faster than oil-powered cars. For that reason, a solar-powered car is the best bet if you are looking for a racing car.
A solar-powered is also more silent due to fewer moving parts in the vehicle.
Will Solar-powered Cars Soon Replace the Traditional, Oil Cars?
As the oil demand has increased, there has been a rise in demand for alternative energy sources. Hence, steps are being taken to manufacture more solar-powered vehicles. The use of solar energy in cars is gaining a lot of popularity, especially in China.
Currently, one challenge is how to make the vehicle move even during cloudy days. Again, a cheaper way of producing solar-powered cars and solar panels is yet to be found hence dragging the transition process.
Given the significant advantages of electric-powered cars over oil-powered ones, many car users would soon want solar-powered cars. If not for that reason, the increased pollution and the depletion of the ozone layer alone will finally demand green energy as the way out.
However, we do not see a border-to-border transition to solar-powered energy happening anytime soon due to the challenges hindering its production, its use, and the high cost of solar-powered vehicles.
Are Solar Powered Cars Expensive?
The solar panels that can run a vehicle are costly; hence solar-powered cars are expensive compared to gas-powered cars. In future, this may change as ways are found to cheaply manufacture solar-powered cars. Research is still being done to counter the challenges facing its production.
Are Solar Powered Vehicles Expensive To Maintain?
A solar-powered car is expensive to buy but cheaper when it comes to maintenance. It only needs little fuel for lubrication. There are fewer moving parts in the vehicle so there will be fewer chances of wearing out like in the traditional gas vehicles which wear out frequently.
On things like tire changes, they are the same when it comes to cost. But it is generally way cheaper to maintain solar-powered vehicles. The solar panel itself can last longer than even the vehicle itself. It has about 30 year’s life span.
So, Are Solar-Powered Cars About To Replace The Traditional, Oil Car?
The simple answer is NO. There is still much to be done. The solar-powered transportation transition will come gradually, but we do not see it in the next ten years.
Wrapping It Up
Solar-powered cars are part of the future of transportation.
Cooperation is required from governments, international organizations, and car manufacturing companies to realize the dream of having affordable green energy sources for powering vehicles.
But are you a good driver right now? It would help if you focused on how to be a good driver even as the debate on solar-powered vs. gas-powered cars rages. We want to ensure you are prepared for both scenarios.
At Pierre Paul Driving Sclhool, we aim to transform you into one of the best drivers the US can ever produce. We are located in Brooklyn, New York. Contact us today to start your driving career.