Solar? Yes please. Only if there was more of it and it was more efficient. This is our list of the top 10 coolest solar vehicles to date. Some are practical, some down right expensive and others straight up wacky. But what is really important is that they’re all setting a precedent for everyone in the fossil burning vehicle business to follow.
This is a total DIY project, but hey, it’s a solar powered vehicle, right? The solar panels can be folded away during driving making it completely street legal. When it’s parked they can be unfolded and the battery juiced from the sun’s rays.
The Sunraycer was built in 1987 in just 10 months. It’s covered with 8800 solar cells that produce up to 1500 watts of power. It won the world’s first race featuring solar powered vehicles and achieved a speed of 109 km/h (65mph) over 3005 km. The following year it achieved a top speed of 75.2mph, destroying the previously held record.
It’s really a kit, but you can’t knock an all solar powered bicycle, right? Sure, you could pedal, but why not take the extra help, especially when it has no carbon emissions. The bike can move at a speed of up to 19mph by way of it’s 500 watt electric motor. You can score a completed bike for about $1,250 or opt fo the kit which costs $775.
This thing costs a whopping $9k, but that’s the price you pay for a little luxury and a clear conscious. The roof features 72 photovoltaic cells that increase its range by up to 33% between charges of a standard electric golf cart. That means you can play 10 rounds of golf before it needs to be plugged in, or you can just leave it in the sun for 15 hours and you’ll be all set.
This things takes records, period. It weighs less than 190 kg and can achieve a top speed of 90.87 kmh. Enough said.
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This is the first commercially available high performance solar vehicle. It boast 21 square meters of solar cells. The passenger sits directly behind the driver, who can accelerate the vehicle to a top speed of 120 kmh with a range of 110 km. Unfortunately, we don’t think any have been built.
This little car is the smallest solar powered vehicle. It measures 33×22×14 millimeters and has a tiny electric engine.
The dude that built this apparently sold his entire motorcycle collection and house to fund the project. The result? The world’s first sun powered motorcycle with a range of 50 miles. It took him more than 2 years to build.
We’ve covered the Planet Solar boat in the past. It’s the largest of its type and rocks 1600 square feet of solar panels. It’s cost its maker more than $25 million to build and took its first ocean voyage this past March.
This plane just completed its first 24 hour flight. It’s a single person vehicle powered by 12,000 solar cells. It’s inventor is now planning for an around the world trip.