Solar Cars

April 18, 2011

Mini Cooper Powers Up From Home Solar System


Talk about being creative. Tom Moloughney of Chester, NJ actually powers up his all-electric Mini Cooper via his residential solar system. He drives 62 miles round trip to his restaurant Nauna's Bella Casa in Montclair and figures that he saves about $5,000 a year. Moloughney, concerned about our foreign oil dependence, was allowed to participate in a BMW pilot program that included 612 Mini Es.

After he realized that the electricity he used came from coal and gas-fired power plants, as well as from nuclear sources, he came up with this solution. By the way, his license plate reads "EF-OPEC." Check out his journey via the link.

(Good job, Tom and thanks for the tip, Jason.)

Via Tom Moloughney

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March 16, 2010

PRO-AMX Solar City Concept Car


PRO-AMX, aka Mexican Automotive Projects, was started in Mexico in 2008 to build clean vehicles. They now have two concept cars in development. The SGT-HC combines a 4-cylinder engine with an electric motor. The Solar City needs nothing but the sun to keep it going with cells located on the awning and glazed area of the car.

Via Autoblog

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March 8, 2010

Mo-Du-Lo Rides 3 Ways


The "Mo-Du-Lo" is so named because the modular car can be made into three different versions. The Mo is a monocycle operated by pedals. The Du is a 4-wheeled car with two monocycles that can accomodate 2 and can be run by batteries that have gotten their power from photovoltaic cells. The Lo version connects many cars and monocycles to create trains and can be used for long distance traveling. The concept was part of the Michelin Challenge Design Showcase.

Via Michelin Challenge

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February 2, 2010

ICARE Car Travels to Promote Alternative Power


Mark Muller, a Swiss engineer involved in the ICARE project, has designed a car that will run around the planet with only solar and wind power as its energy source. Beginning in May, the car will travel to 30 countries to study CO2 compensation initiatives. The non-profit org is also looking for sponsors to buy a solar cell or a piece of asphalt.


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January 26, 2010

BYD Looks Ahead to Solar Vehicles


Warren Buffet's latest investment is in BYD (the letters are the initials of the company's Chinese name), a firm that is involved in production of batteries, mobile phones and automobiles. The company showed off its electric cars at the recent NAIAS and says that it is looking into solar power to run their vehicles in the future. The $22,000 car is expected to be imported to the US sometime next year.


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December 22, 2009

Sikat Car Built to Teach Filipinos About Solar Energy


Sikat is the Philippines Solar Car Society's second car, the next generation of the Sinag, that was designed for 2007 World Solar Car Challenge in Australia. Made by a team of 33 from De La Salle University, the new vehicle weighs 100kg less than its predecessor and has a top speed of 112 kph. Its purpose will be to alert Filipinos to the pluses of solar energy.

Via Dailly Mirror

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December 17, 2009

Rural Concept Car Doubles Energy Savings


Matt Bradbury's Rural Concept car one ups zero emission electric cars by adding a hybrid system that runs on both electricity and hydrogen fuel cells. The vehicle has a carbon fiber chassis and solar panels that can be rotated individually or together for more sun. The panels provide power into the electric motors.

Via Ecofriend

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November 18, 2009

Tiny, Tiny Solar Car


InPro Solar claims that this is the smallest Solar Car on the planet. At a size of only 33 x 22 x 14 mm, no assembly is required. The tiny vehicle runs with sunshine or a strong artificial light as its power source.

Via InPro Solar Car

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November 5, 2009

Tokai Challenger Wins Global Green Challenge


The Japanese Tokai Challenger won the Australian Global Green Challenge race last week. The solar vehicle had the lead in the 3,000k race from the beginning and kept it even though they had a flat along the way. This is the first time since 1993 that the team has won the event. While the Challenger maintained a maximum speed of 150km per hour to earn the win, a Tesla managed to set a world record by going 501 kilometres (313 miles) on a single charge.

Via Global Green Challenge

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October 27, 2009

Belfast Constructs Solar Car Chargers


Northern Ireland is the proud owner of its first solar powered car charger. Located outside the Hilton Hotel in Belfast, the device can provide juice even on a cloudy day. The Cross Group has the franchise for the chargers and hopes that there will be many more of them in the next 5 years, when sales of electric cars will be on the rise. At a cost of £30,000 (~$49,000.00) apiece, we don't foresee them outside the local equivalent of a Motel 6.

Via Belfast Telegraph

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October 8, 2009

RVs Go Greener


Even RVs are becoming more eco-friendly. Manufacturers are making them more fuel efficient with diesel engines/batteries that get more mpg and some have sleeker front ends. They are also making them lighter and many of them are powered by solar and wind power. The Recreational Vehicle Industry Association says that up to 20% of RVers use solar panels for their on board systems.

Via Peter Greenberg

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October 6, 2009

Maine High School Develops Solar Car Kit


Art Haines, a mechanical designer, drafted 8 students from Skowhegan Area High School in Maine to develop and build a 2-seater street legal car (in 35mph zones) with a solar panel mounted on its hood. After the original prototype was completed, they came up with a pre-welded DIY kit that anyone can order for $5,500.00 (batteries not included.)

The SUNN EV has a 10HP DC motor, two shocks, large diameter wheels and an 85W solar panel. The vehicle can travel up to 30 miles at a speed of up to 25 mph when fully charged by the sun or wall outlet. Owners can select color and configuration when choosing between the truck or SPIRIT 3-wheeler.


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September 21, 2009

Volkswagen's E-Up! Green Car


Volkswagen has a new electric car they have dubbed the E-Up!, no doubt named after the fact that that it is powered by electrons. The 10 1/2 car seats four and can hit 60 mph in about 11 seconds. A 18 kWh lithium ion battery pack weighing 530 kilograms is seated underneath the vehicle in an air-cooled, crash-protected tray. The port for battery charging is located under its logo and the roof has solar cells to both supply energy to the electrical system and cool its interior. Don't get too excited. Production of the E-Up! is slated to begin in 2013 and become available for all by 2020.

Via Fareast Gizmos

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September 15, 2009

Early Tokai Solar Cars


After posting about the University of Tokai's entry into the Global Green Challenge, we happened to notice that they have been doing it for quite a while now. It seems that in the past, the vehicles were more whimsical and gimmicky than the ones produced now, including one with Doraemon, Japan's robotic cat.

Via 3 Yen

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