Electric cars are starting to gain some serious traction in the motoring world, with more people looking to switch to an environmentally friendly car.
However, many people suffer from what is known as ‘range anxiety’ – worrying that their car will not make it the distance they require on one charge.
When competing against petrol and diesel cars, which can be filled up in a few minutes and travel hundreds of miles, EV cars have a longer ‘fuelling’ time yet cannot travel as far. Factor in the distances between charging stations and you can understand why people are often wary about selling a car
and switching to an EV, if driving is a large part of their life.
Yet, as costs go down and EV ranges increase, electric transport options will start to become more desirable, especially if the next generation of electric cars follow in the footsteps of one Chinese company.
The solar manufacturer Hanergy have revealed four models of electric cars that have thin-film solar modules built into the bodies of the vehicles, allowing for them to be “zero charge” cars for short and medium length journeys.
These concept cars were unveiled in Beijing earlier this month by Hanergy Holding Group, who said that they could be commercialised as soon as three years from now.
According to Hanergy, the solar cells on their electric cars are able to generate 8 to 10 kWh of electricity from exposure to fix to six hours of sunlight, which can power the cars for around 50 miles a day without the need for it to be plugged into a charger.
The solar cells cover between 3.5 and 7.5 square metres of the vehicles depending on the model, and the vehicles will have ultrasonic cleaning technology built in, for maintenance of the solar cells.
Under day-to-day use, the vehicles are able to charge themselves with solar energy whilst travelling, which does make “zero charging” possible. In the case of long-distance travel, or days when the sunlight is fairly weak, the batteries in the car can be charged enabling a maximum travel distance of around 215 miles.
This concept shows that EV vehicles are taking a step in the right direction, and although it may not be perfect, it is most certainly an exciting prospect in the future of zero emission driving.