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If we continue to use oil as we do now, the world will be depleted of this resource in about half a century. This means we have to find a solution to this looming energy challenge in order to keep our cars running. The good news is that the auto industry is hard at work creating solutions like solar powered cars. A solar powered car is a vehicle that is powered by the sun. When sunlight hits the solar panel that is part of the car's body, the solar cells generate a direct current (DC) that is converted and stored in a battery to power the car's engine so that it can travel a certain distance. But are solar-powered cars part of the future of both private and commercial transportation?

What are solar powered cars?

A solar powered car is a vehicle that is powered by the sun. When sunlight hits the solar panel that is part of the car's body, the solar cells generate a direct current (DC) that is converted and stored in a battery to power the car's engine so that it can travel a certain distance. It's worth noting that until now there are hardly any solar-powered cars, at least not commercially available, that are designed to rely solely on solar energy. 

Electric vehicles, which can be charged via electric charging stations, have so far dominated the street scene. However, newer electric vehicles, such as the Sion from German manufacturer Sono Motors, now come with solar integration. The vehicle comes with 248 seamlessly integrated solar cells. The vehicle manufacturer describes it as “A spacious electric car with a range of up to 305 kilometers that charges itself by the power of the sun.” If you want to learn more about the advantages and disadvantages of solar cell powered cars, we advise you this article to read.

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solar-powered cars are not yet replacing electric driving

The overall design of a solar powered car is based on the principle of harnessing the sun's energy and storing it in the batteries that power the car. The solar panels consist of small components called photovoltaic cells, made of silicon mixed with other materials such as phosphorus and boron. These cells form two slices of semiconducting materials (positive and negative), which create an electrical charge between the two layers. When the sun's energy releases the electrons, they are captured by conductive metal plates on the sides of the cells and transferred to wires like any other source of electricity and eventually to the batteries.

Despite the remarkable progress, there is still a long way to go before solar-powered cars mature and take over our roads. They have generally failed to attract enough investors compared to their electric counterparts. But the fact that we're seeing more electric vehicles with solar integration to expand their range means that the first car to run solely on solar energy may not be too far off.

About Sono Motors

Sono Motors is on a pioneering mission to accelerate the mobility revolution by turning every vehicle into solar energy. The pioneering solar technology has been developed to enable seamless integration into all types of vehicles to reduce the impact of CO2 emissions and pave the way for climate-friendly mobility. Sono Motors develops the world's first solar electric vehicle (SEV) for the masses, the Sion. Thanks to a strong community, Sono Motors has collected more than 16.800 prepaid reservations for the Sion. These vehicles will be produced through contract manufacturing.

Also read: Driving an electric car sometimes sucks as a plug

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