China’s Han­ergy prom­ises to cruise for 80km on six hours of sun light cap­tured through its so­lar pan­els.

More and more mo­tor com­pa­nies are turn­ing to so­lar power

The Witness - Wheels - - FRONT PAGE - AL­WYN VILJOEN

IT is not only the stu­dents at the Eind­hoven Uni­ver­sity of Tech­nol­ogy in the Nether­lands who see a fu­ture in cars run­ning on sun­light.

From China, Bloomberg re­ports Han­ergy Hold­ing Group last week in­tro­duced four cars pow­ered by so­lar pan­els.

The com­pany said in a state­ment in Bei­jing that the cars, which can be charged in day­light while be­ing driven, also con­tain lithium bat­ter­ies, mak­ing it pos­si­ble to charge them in sta­tions when the sun is blocked or on long-dis­tance trips.

Un­der ideal con­di­tions, Han­ergy’s so­lar-pow­ered cars can travel about 80 kilo­me­tres on a five- to six-hour charge in the sun, it said. Power comes from thin-film so­lar cells af­fixed to the bodies.

The car’s cells use tech­nol­ogy from Alta De­vices Inc., which Han­ergy bought in 2014, ac­cord­ing to Han­ergy Hold­ing.

By com­par­i­son, the Dutch so­lar car Stella Lux raced 1 500 km on a sin­gle charge, driv­ing at an av­er­age speed of 80 km/h, dur­ing the bi­en­nial Bridge­stone So­lar Power Chal­lenge in Aus­tralia in Oc­to­ber last year.

Both Han­ergy and the young engi­neers at Eind­hoven pre­dict that the cost of thin-film so­lar pan­els could fall, with Han­ergy start­ing costs drop­ping by more than 90% when so­lar-pow­ered cars are pro­duced in large vol­umes.

The Bei­jing-based com­pany last year an­nounced deals to out­fit recre­ational ve­hi­cles, tour buses and cater­ing trucks in China with so­lar cells that will help run some in­di­vid­ual sys­tems.

Han­ergy Hold­ing is the Bei­jing-based par­ent of Han­ergy Thin Film Power Group Ltd., the Chi­nese so­lar equip­ment maker whose shares were sus­pended more than a year ago after a 47% plunge in one day. The unit’s plan to pro­vide pro­to­types of its so­lar cars last year was de­layed after trad­ing was sus­pended in May 2015.

The com­pany signed a frame­work agree­ment with Beiqi Fo­ton Mo­tor Com­pany to de­velop clean-en­ergy buses with Han­ergy’s thin-film cells, ac­cord­ing to the state­ment.

PHOTO: KENNISLINK.NL

The Stella Lux is a so­lar-pow­ered fam­ily saloon that is al­ready road le­gal in the Nether­lands and proven in races across Aus­tralia.

PHOTO: CARNEWSCHINA

One of three Han­ergy so­lar cars un­veiled in Bei­jing last week, which can re­port­edly go 80 km on a day’s so­lar charge.

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