Solar Powered Cars

Real Live Solar Powered Cars. I’ve been reading several posts lately arguing that adding solar energy to electric cars just isn’t technically feasible or worthwhile. The argument goes that you wouldn’t get enough power to make it worth your while.

While writing my book – The Xybrid Vehicle – I found some cars that are solely powered by solar power. (How’s that for alliteration?) And where else would you go to find them than the World Solar Challenge?

Stella VIE –  While most solar powered vehicles are one seaters, the Stella VIE is a family car. You can watch a video here.
Solar Team Eindhoven entered the Stella in the Cruiser class competition. Other cars in that competition class in 2017 were the Thyssenkrupp Blue.Cruiser, Arrow STF, Sophie VI, and EOS II. Cars in this class are those that might actually be on the roads some day (not just in the race track). Also they must hold at least a driver and a passenger, both of whom are facing forward.

And there are other solar powered cars – Lightyear One currently costs $145,000. Production timeframe: 2019 – 10 cars, 2020 100 cars. Available in the EU.
Sono Motors has built the Sion. They’re looking for less than 2000 more orders to meet their goal. The Sion only costs about $20,000. It has a range of 150 miles. That’s quite a bit more than my Nissan Leaf. You can even use an optional trailer hitch. Another nifty feature is that they use moss as an air filter. I always knew there was a good use for moss. It also helps regulate the humidity – hmmm, perhaps I should put some moss in my Leaf. That way I wouldn’t have to run the defroster so much in the Pacific NW winter (rainy season). And not using heat would really boost my mileage. I’m sure I’ve got some moss growing on my roof. Somehow in the Sion, you don’t have to water the moss because it’s no longer alive, but still retains it’s viable properties. You can also make donations to them on their PreOrder page. I think the Sion is only available in the EU, however Sono Motors maintenance maps shows some locations in the US.
Alternatively, I might put an open container of rock salt in my car to reduce the humidity. I have some 5-gallon buckets in my house with rock salt in them. You’re supposed to drill holes in the first bucket, place that bucket into a second bucket. Then pour rock salt into the first bucket. Occasionally empty the water in the bottom bucket. While these contraptions do seem to keep our bathrooms drier, no water ever collects in the bottom bucket. After sitting there for a couple of years, I am seeing some of the salt disappear. So, maybe the water is slowly dissolving it, but never enough collecting to empty into the bottom bucket.
However, moss would fit on the dash, where I need the humidity control, a bit easier than a bucket of rock salt. Also, less likely to spill. Alternatively, you might try some dry sponges.

Ford and Prius both have solar power assisted vehicles. The C-Max Solar Energi and the Prius Prime. Not a lot of help from the solar panels, but every little bit helps.

Yep, if you’re buying me a Christmas present, I wouldn’t mind a Sonos Sion.

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