Your Questions About Solar Powered Cars

Lisa asks…

What do you think about Solar/Gas Powered cars?

Here is my idea…

What if the roofs of our cars had solar panels that generated electricity during the day, and then by night or when it's too dark to effeciently use the solar power, the car automatically switched to gas power?

We're spending so much money on these unsuccessful attempts to create a different kind of gas, but why don't we focus on other ways to conserve energy that we know works?

This idea wouldn't eliminate the use of gas entirely but it would certianly lower the demand by a large percentage! Which in turn would lower the gas prices! Why hasn't anyone else thought of this yet? Or if they have, will you please tell me where I can find more information about it?

ssadmin answers:

Solar cells are not efficient.
They need to constantly be kept clean.
They are very fragile.
The cost of placing solar panels on your car would be worth more than most cars. Typical solar panels to cover a car would cost on the order of about $15K. They would be stolen off your car before your car got stolen.

Donna asks…

How come no one is working on solar powered cars?

Can we sue the oil companies for stopping ideas that need to be made? Why can't the whole car be made of an unbreakable solar panel ? Screw the oil companies we are tired of paying!

ssadmin answers:

There are annual competitions for exactly that.
They simply are not practical for everyday use, YET.

Betty asks…

If electric and solar powered cars have been made, why havn't they replaced the gas powered cars?

As major car company's know, gasoline and oil is becoming very scarce. Electric cars have been made, why doesn't the car company's or whoever makes them sell them to good people of earth. Do they want it for their selves while we pay hundreds for gas. Think about it.

ssadmin answers:

Because now that lithium ion batteries are being developed and gas prices are skyrocketing, the technology is just starting to become competetive with gasoline. Don't worry, in the next decade we'll start to see more electric cars than gas cars.

Paul asks…

Who knows anything about solar powered cars?

I've actually seen a car at a show once that was covered in solar panels. Does anything know how the engineering of these cars is going, and whether there will be a solar/fuel hybrid car sometime in the future?

ssadmin answers:

It really isn't practical now, nor will it ever be given the current state of solar cells. However, it is a fascinating subject and someday someone may make a breakthrough on cell efficiency.

Seems to me I remember a number along the lines of 400 watts per square meter was available from sunlight. If this is accurate, and one horsepower is roughly 750 watts, then an entire car body covered in cells would produce less power than a decent sized lawnmower.

Richard asks…

Do you think we should have solar powered energy cars to save gas?

If we have solar powered energy cars, cars will only be able to go go at a maximum rate of about 40 mph really depending on the sunlight.

ssadmin answers:

Oh heck yeah! I work for the DMV!

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