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The Advantages of Solar Powered Vehicles

author image Rob Callahan
Rob Callahan lives in Minneapolis, where he covers style, culture and the arts for Vita.MN and "l'├ętoile Magazine." His work has earned awards in the fields of journalism, social media and the arts. Callahan graduated from Saint Cloud State University in 2001 with a Bachelor's degree in philosophy.
The Advantages of Solar Powered Vehicles
Flexible photovoltaic panels adorn the surface of a solar car. Photo Credit: MakaronProduktion/iStock/Getty Images

Solar-powered cars are not a common sight on American roadways because no production-ready models have been developed as of 2010. Green-minded consumers have been buying readily-available gas-electric hybrid vehicles. But the advantages that sun-powered cars offer make them a potentially attractive alternative for consumers in search of more ecologically-friendly personal transportation. So, researchers continue to work on developing affordable, reliable, solar-powered vehicles.

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No Emissions

Because solar-powered cars have electric motors, they burn no fuel and produce no emissions. This key aspect of solar-powered cars is of interest to motorists who wish to utilize personal transportation without contributing to air pollution and greenhouse gases in the environment, as well as to researchers and automobile manufacturers who develop solar-powered prototypes and concept cars.

Preservation Of Natural Resources

Although the panels and other components of a solar-powered car initially consume energy and resources to manufacture, the solar car would require no additional energy input. Because solar-powered cars consume no fuel and do not require oil changes, their dependence on petroleum-based products is limited to the lubrication of wheels or plastics used in replacement parts. The electric motor and other components of solar cars are potentially maintenance-free, in contrast to the engines in current gas-powered vehicles.

No Fuel Costs

There are considerable economic incentives to develop, produce and operate solar cars. Because of their lack of dependence on external fuel sources, they are free from the fuel costs normally associated with gas, diesel, and even hybrid automobiles. Sunlight, which solar panels convert into electricity, is available and free to everyone during the day.

Driving Comfort

Electric motors designed to power solar-cars are generally smaller than the equivalent gas engine, and operate without the noise and vibrations generally associated with conventional cars, according to Elements Online Environment Magazine. Solar-powered cars can also be designed to be much lighter, allowing for faster turning and stopping.

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