Solar Power

A solar car is an electric vehicle powered by energy obtained from solar panels (also known as photovoltaic cells) fixed on the car. However, although the idea of a solar powered car is an attractive one (no fuel to buy and no emissions), solar cells generally produce too little power to run a full-sized electric car, producing only about 1,500 watts, which is enough to power a hairdryer. Although the cells can be used to run prototype cars, these vehicles are usually are extremely light (approximately 180 kg) and would not be strong enough to protect a driver in an accident with another vehicle.

Although solar cars are not currently a practical form of transportation, they are often raced in competitions, such as the World Solar Challenge - a 3,021 km race across the centre of Australia from Darwin to Adelaide. Competitors include entries from universities keen to develop their students' technological and engineering skills, along with professional teams such as Honda and GM.