Why solar could be the future of transport.
Much like solar panels for homes, solar energy for vehicles has been in the works for a long time, as solar energy could potentially provide enough energy for a car to run. “Like solar-powered homes, solar cars harness energy from the sun by converting it into electricity. This electricity fuels the battery that runs the car's motor. Instead of using a battery, some solar cars direct the power straight to an electric motor. Great examples of the latest solar powered cars are the University of Michigan solar car, the MIT solar car, and the Berkeley solar car,” this article explains.
So, what are the main solar trends we should be on the lookout for with RVs and vehicles? Here are a few things to know:
Electric and Hybrid Vehicles
"Solar-powered vehicles are of two types: electric vehicles and hybrid vehicles. An electric vehicle contains electric motors and stores energy in rechargeable batteries. Solar electric vehicles charge their batteries through solar energy. Hybrid vehicles contain two types of power: the internal combustion engine present generally in vehicles and the electric motors to power the vehicle electrically."
For Hybrid vehicles, it is predicted that the market will reach $243.2 billion by 2026.
The environmental benefits of solar panels for cars are undeniable, as they don’t create greenhouse gases as gasoline engines do. On the other hand, people also benefit financially as solar energy is free, widely available, and grants the solar car driver complete independence from foreign oil.
Finally, an often overlooked benefit to solar panels is that they don’t add to the noise pollution because they are silent.
In order to target new audiences, the recreational vehicle industry has been obligated to adopt new, more appealing technologies. According to this USA Today article, "Many of even the smallest RVs and trailers contain solar panels, entertainment systems, and wiring to charge smart phones and tablets far from plug-in power."
Because hybrid cars are environmentally friendlier than conventional gas engine cars and have lower emissions, consumers who prioritize the environment when making their purchases have helped make these cars more popular across the world. But did you know that the car industry is not the only one focusing on the environment? In 2015 a solar-powered aircraft successfully traversed the United States without the use of any fuel whatsoever, and we will continue to see these initiatives as technology continues to advance.
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