Amidst the increasing buzz around green cars, and innovative green car designs gaining grounds, Taiwan is ready with the prototype of a solar powered car that could hit the markets soon. The car was featured at the World Solar Challenge 2007, weighs a mere 250 kg and can reach speeds of 70 km/hr. All this with no emissions, powered by the sun!
The vehicle’s roof is fitted with satellite-grade solar cells that harvest sunlight to power the car. The car comes with lithium-polymer batteries which can keep the car running for 3 hrs after being charged. The parts of the car are made with Nomex honeycomb, a material known for its high strength, excellent impact, fire resistance, and light weight. The fiber was originally developed by Dupont Chemical for the aviation industry, and is widely used in aircraft and aerospace components.
The car is designed by the researchers at Taiwan’s National Kaohsiung University of Applied Sciences. It is inspired by Apollo Solar Car, made by the Apollo Solar Car Team. The team was founded in 1998, and was the first solar car team in Taiwan. The team is headed by Professor Herchang Ay, and comprises mostly of engineering students.
The car ranked second out of more than 50 cars which competed at the Panasonic World Solar Chall[enge, Across Australia, Darwin to Adelaide. The car is expected to be launched this year and would come at a price tag of $25,000.