As several companies across the globe move closer to delivering scaled production of solar EVs, a team in China has taken sustainable transportation a step further by creating a solar vehicle that runs entirely on energy from the sun. Introducing the Tianjin solar car.
Garnering range from that giant, burning ball of gas that peers down on us each day feels like a no-brainer, and that’s a similar sentiment shared by several EV startups trying to do just that. In California, Aptera’s second attempt at bringing a solar EV to market remains on track for later this year.
Overseas, Lightyear recently showcased the production version of its Lightyear 0 SEV, which will also begin production later this year. In Germany, Sono Motors is approaching the validation prototype phase for its flagship Sion EV, which is aiming for production in 2023.
In China, a company called Hanergy presented a solar-powered vehicle called the Solar-R back in 2016. While the main feature of the vehicle was to run off energy entirely from the Sun, Hanergy still equipped it with a battery pack and converter so it could replenish on a charging pile if needed. Cowards.
In Tianjin, China, a team has taken sustainable travel to a whole new front, developing the country’s first solar vehicle that gets its range from the sun and the sun alone. Check it out.
Meet the Tianjin, China’s first pure solar vehicle
The Tianjin solar vehicle recently made its debut at the sixth World Intelligence Conference and has started a new tour around mainland China. According to local media in China, the solar vehicle was jointly developed in just five months by 42 companies and three universities. It features 47 advanced technologies, some of which are present in top-tier vehicles in the automotive industry.
For instance, the Tianjin solar car is reportedly equipped to perform autonomous driving at “Level 4 and above.” The solar module area of this vehicle is 8.1 square meters, far more an SEV like the Lightyear ), which is equipped with 5 square meters of cells… and that’s a lot. Here are some other pertinent specs for China’s first pure solar vehicle:
- Seating for three plus a driver
- Vehicle dimensions: 4,080 mm long × 1,770 mm wide × 1,811 mm tall (13.4 x 5.8 x 5.9 ft.)
- Wheelbase is 2,850 mm (9.4 feet)
- Body weight: 1,020 kg (2,250 lbs.)
- Maximum daily power generation: 7.6 kWh on sunny days
- Vehicle is equipped with battery pack with an energy density of 330 Wh/kg
- Max tested range is 74.8 km (~47 miles)
- Maximum speed is 79.2km/h (49 mph)
- Carbon emissions can be reduced by 25 kg per 100 km (55 lbs. per 62 miles)
Not thrilling specs compared to a solar EV, or any EV for that matter, but still quite impressive considering these numbers come entirely from the sun’s energy. That’s exciting, to say the least.
The Tianjin, at the very minimum, provides proof of concept for vehicles that can be powered entirely from a natural (and abundant) source of clean energy. It’s exciting to think about what sort of possibilities this solar vehicle creates for future engineers developing means for us all to get around without emissions. Check out CnEVPost’s look at the Tianjin solar car below:
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