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
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.
The Stella Lux is a solar-powered family saloon that is already road legal in the Netherlands and proven in races across Australia.
One of three Hanergy solar cars unveiled in Beijing last week, which can reportedly go 80 km on a day’s solar charge.