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Believe it or not, a solar powered car is on sale in China. Shown at the 29th (!) Zhejiang International Bicycles and Electric-powered Cars Exhibition in Hangzhou, eastern China, the vehicle is a cheap and dirty clean way to get around. According to an engineer, the solar cells can absorb 95 percent of the solar energy coming in, although they can only convert 14 to 17 percent into electricity to recharge the batteries. Recharging time? About 30 hours to get the maximum 150 km (90 mi) range. However, if you're in a hurry, you can always get energy for 5 km in just one hour. Around 10 units have been produced thus far by Zhejiang 001 Group. The sticker price is quite a bargain for a solar NEV: 38,000 yuan (US$5,560). If you think this car is familiar, that's because it looks like a Chery QQ (which is itself a Daewoo Matiz clone) that was made into an electric model by DianZi.
[Source: Gasgoo via Le Blog Auto]


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  • 13 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      I doubt this car would come close to passing US requirements for safety. That's why our cars are so expensive, because we need seats that can tell how much you weigh and automatically turn on and off the airbags.
      • 6 Years Ago
      We import everything else from China, why can't we import these? I live in Colorado where the sun shines over 300 days a year, this would be awesome for us!
      • 6 Years Ago
      Redoing my math, it's not as bad as I thought -- I need to eat some crow here.

      The typically agreed-upon value for the amount of total solar energy reaching a given area of ground on a clear day is 1336 watts per square meter. Guessing wildly that the panel in the picture is probably about 2 x 2.5 meters in size (someone correct me if this is way off), this gives us 5 m^2, or about 6680 watts of theoretical power available in full sun. At 17% cell efficiency, this equals about 1.14kW, not inconceivable. Being really generous and ignoring the variation of light during the course of a day, we'll simply multiply by their 30-hour figure and get 34.068kWh going into the batteries. At 90% charge efficiency in the batteries, this would mean only 31kWh comes out. To go 90 miles to 80% depth of battery discharge (for acceptable battery life), you'd need a car that can achieve 272Wh/mile.

      I am used to rating cars at 65mph, and it would take a very small and aerodynamic car to achieve this usage at that speed. But, this is an NEV so the figure was probably measured at around 30mph and actually may be reasonable.

      Of course YMMV, since I've been generous (perhaps too much) in my assumptions above. However, I think their claim is not totally unbelievable, as I claimed earlier.
      • 1 Year Ago
      I need to buy a electric car which can be charge by solar panels fixed in it. When the car moves it keeps charging the batteries as well. The body of the car or at least panels must be fixed in its roof + bonnet & the mirrors also be solar mirrors. Contact me at kgmcon@hotmail.com
        • 1 Year Ago
        Did you get the info that you needed? Contact me at Gods_hands3@att.net
      • 6 Years Ago
      a cell that size i would say 300 watts max :(
      subro2
      • 6 Years Ago
      This seems like a great idea. How about a combination of solar panels and plug-in? Surely the technology is available for both, and that way, while you're at work all day, your car could be charging itself for the drive home.
      • 6 Years Ago
      That's it -- game almost over folks. If the Chinese take full advantage of higher efficiency solar panels [above 18%] - we will have to face the imminent flooding of the markets with foreign-made vehicles costing $5 or 6K while our own auto makers are talking $30K to 100K. People aren't going to care much what they look like if they actually work. Even if the quality is lacking, the thing is damn nearly disposable. You could buy one NEV every 2 to 3 years, throw it away and do that six times to equal one US-made EV or hybrid. We are in big trouble. How much screaming do environmentalists have to do about this to get Detroit to do the obvious thing and go green? We are about to find out the cost of stupidity.
      • 6 Years Ago
      (linkback) Wow! or Meh? You can now buy a solar car in China [VOTE] - http://www.thriveorfail.com/ba227
      • 6 Years Ago
      Wow. At that price I want one. Lose the stupid solar panels (which won't do me any good in the Pacific Northwest) and I'll just plug it in.
      • 6 Years Ago
      There's no way that the quoted recharge time is correct, perhaps unless those 90 miles are driven at 5mph. There just isn't enough solar energy available in the surface area of that panel, and certainly not enough harvested at 17% efficiency. Something stinks here.
        • 6 Years Ago
        The source states that clearly. If it wasn't clear, the whole post is a bit tongue-in-cheek. I don't believe these figures either!
        • 6 Years Ago
        Chris, you're not trying to say that ABG didn't fact check this story, are you?

        The internet really sucks for stuff like this.
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