One of the great ongoing discussions as electric cars gain in popularity revolves around the matter of how to ensure that the power source is as green as the vehicle. One Chinese solar company, Hanergy, thinks it has the answer—and in October of this year the company will roll out five new cars directly by rooftop solar panels.
Hanergy is best known as a manufacturer of thin-film solar panels, and have been building up partnerships with automakers for several years now. In 2012 Aston Martin teamed up with Hanergy to create a solar-panel-equipped race car, and more recently Hanergy has partnered with Tesla on their network of superchargers.
For the development of the solar-powered cars, Hanergy has said they will partner with three international automakers and two Chinese car manufacturers. According to a statement from Hanergy, the cars will have a range of 100km—or 60mph—on a four hour charge. In an interview late last year, Hanergy chairman Li Hejun estimated that around six square meters of solar panels will be needed to fully power an electric car. And that’s about as much as we have in terms of details, which suggests that if this does all go ahead what we will see is more of a pioneering set of prototypes than a full-on market launch.
Lead image via Shutterstock, secondary image via Hanergy