Why Don't Solar Powered Cars Exist?
Solar power is abundant and readily available, so why don't cars use it?
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With electric cars becoming more popular and a shift towards renewable energy sources is taking place, an obvious question becomes: why don't we simply put solar panels on top of cars? Could this help with the lack of charging infrastructure? Realistically, what would it take for solar powered cars to work out, and why haven't they been successful up until this point?

This video will analyze the surface area of a modern car, providing an estimate for how much solar power it could actually generate, what speeds the cars could be capable of, and how long the cars would take to charge. We'll take into consideration the solar constant, the amount of solar power that actually reaches Earth's surface, the efficiency limits of solar panels, the curvature of the Earth (it isn't flat), and analyze how this impacts a solar car's performance. We'll also check out Aptera Motors, who's planning to make a car that will never need to charge, thanks to solar panels!

Solar Constant - doi.org/10.1029/2010GL045777
Global Consumption - www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/det...
Surface Energy - earthobservatory.nasa.gov/fea...
Solar Efficiency - doi.org/10.1007/BF00901283
Aptera Motors "Never Charge" - www.aptera.us/never-charge

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  • kniteowl

    What about a Solar Powered Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicle? How much Hydrogen could a solar panel generate from water to refuel the vehicle?

  • Don C-M
    Don C-M

    Solar Cars racing across Australia could hit high 50mph under peak sun. this was several decades ago (my knowledge). these cars were custom and usuall you were driving laying down.

  • Don C-M
    Don C-M

    Real world. Early 90's i was on a Solar Csr team in school and we raced in the American Tour de Sol. In easy numbers we had 100w per hour solar panels (13% eff) charging 7.2 kw lead acid. It ran at 100w per mile. custom built 2 seater.

  • Gyrefalcon Argenteus
    Gyrefalcon Argenteus

    I usually really like your programs but in this one you seem to take joy in the idea of abject failure of the sun to make any contribution. The truth is is very very few people ever drain their electric vehicles. They drive to work where the car sits in the Sun all day heats up then they drive home. Retractable solar cells that cover the windshield would keep the car cooler and put some energy back in the batteries but instead of exploring these numbers again you seem to take joy in the idea of plugging into a network that is largely fueled by coal fired power plants.

  • ant

    To me it seems like the best innovation is the incredible efficiency of these vehicles. Even if you don't put a solar panel on it, having a vehicle which requires less than half the energy for the same distance means faster charging, smaller batteries (less waste) and less grid usage.

  • Marc-André Servant
    Marc-André Servant

    I have an idea, we should build fixed solar panels that are permanently installed in a giant field, connect inverters to them, and connect them with wires to an electric car charger. This solves the problem of limited surface area on the car, and the user of the charger can pay the owner of the solar panels per kWh consumed. We can even connect that whole contraption to nuclear plants and wind turbines so the charger works even when the sun doesn't shine. Oh wait, that's just called the electric grid.

  • Vinicius Ruiz
    Vinicius Ruiz

    Painel efficiency ....

  • Larry Robertson
    Larry Robertson

    I always think about this when I go out to my car for lunch at work. My car (and probably a LOT of people's) sits in direct sunlight and BAKES for 8-12 hours a day about 50% of the year. That seems like a LOT of wasted energy. So maybe one day when we have "Nano Solar cells" embedded in automotive paint? But for now why don't large employer's make "carport roofs" across their parking areas that is covered with solar panels? Not cost effective I guess?

  • Ed

    It's a good thing technology marches on.

  • JesseArt

    Even though it wouldn't be the primary source for charging, I do think integrated solar roof and hood panels should be a feature automakers invest in. Like regenerative braking, it could help maintain battery levels in a passive way. Why not produce a vehicle that has as many passively energy capturing/producing features as possible? With all of the forces that accompany forward motion, why not take advantage of solar, wind (forced air?), and friction based tech?

  • vocks85

    I’m looking forward to the new EV truck line up from Toyota. I think solar would be perfect for them given the large surface area. And I don’t think most people are looking for a car that’s fully solar but for supplementation.

  • Riley Starr
    Riley Starr

    There are plenty of solar powered cars, they just don't generate on the vehicle itself. This is why we have batteries.

  • vocks85

    I’ve been waiting a while for a decent electric pickup and I think that solar panels on that rig would be great for over landing. It’s not like you can carry a jerry can of electricity.

  • Jeremy hanna
    Jeremy hanna

    Let me sum up hole video the car surface aint near big enough

  • Marex Kai
    Marex Kai

    Every time you say the letter "S", it makes such a loud whistle!

  • boxfabio

    How about the math behind the Lightyear model?

  • Chris Brown
    Chris Brown

    Make it a plug-in solar panel car it might help in standstill traffic on a hot day? Just a theory I'm pondering.

  • Pootis Spangle
    Pootis Spangle

    Today, I saw a partially solar car, the Volvo T60.

  • Harsesis Hok'tar
    Harsesis Hok'tar

    He also didn't account for the inevitable dirty and damaged solar panels.

  • Aaron S
    Aaron S

    How fast could the aptera go indefinitely?

  • Jack Bradford
    Jack Bradford

    I'm guessing because solar doesnt make enough power

  • Bob Adkins
    Bob Adkins

    It's because we don't live on Mercury.

  • Chevifier

    I'm guessing we haven't discovered the tech yet to draw power from the sun. (i.e Solar doesn't draw power it receives power which is inconsisntent)

  • BooBunny

    The movie "Race the Sun" is the simple answer to your question, good movie too.

  • Stormveil

    Every year some people ride Solar pedal-electrics for thousands of Km without plugging in. Look up 'The Sun Trip' - they're riding right now.

  • Ari Finkelman
    Ari Finkelman

    There are solar cars. They race them in Australia every year. The races are on FIbill, so look for them. Then after watching those videos, you will see why we dont have solar cars.

    • Some Other Dude
      Some Other Dude

      There are in fact light solar powered vehicle designs for 2 people that can cover an average commute.

  • Sajeewa Kalamba
    Sajeewa Kalamba

    You have to understand that most of the world population live close to equator (Asia, Middle East, Africa, Central & South America) & it is there this will work better. The capacity of 1 sqm standard solar panel is approx. 200 W per hour. For a car of 6 sqm surface (roof & bonnet), it can generate approx. 6 KW per day (200 W X 5 hours X 6 sqm). The average EV efficiency is approx. 6.75 km per kwh. That means solar power can run an EV approx. 40 km a day. 40 kms is the average daily commute for any urban dweller. I drive 14 kms to the office & my car is parked at the office from 8:30 to 17:00 hrs under direct sunlight. If I can have solar panels on my car, I would not want to charge my car ever. Countries close to equator such as Sri Lanka get 8 - 9 hours sunlight daily throughout the year. I am not an engineer & studied Bio-science. I just picked up those figures from the web & calculated. I really appreciate your insights on this.

    • ant

      Good point about how most of the population lives near the equator. Also I imagine that efficiency could be raised a lot by building more efficient, lighter, and aerodynamic cars.

  • Woxys

    If I get an average of 10-15km/day from solar, I think it's worth it.

  • Martin Mellembakken
    Martin Mellembakken

    I seen solar powered car's right here on FIbill just a couple of years ago,, maybe This Guy doesn't think of it as real cars because they are really light weight using bicycle wheels and bicycle air shock's but they have four wheels and roof windshield etc ithink it was mostly glass fibre clad with solar cells from solar panels and charge itself while being parked and while driving and use regenerative break's ,, The most advanced one had one heavy part a flywheel so it could accelerate fast enough to follow traffic after a stop sign etc..that one i Think was built by some sort of school University maybe,,, and you also have"pods" They looks like car's but it's no steering wheel you steering by levers one on each side of the seat and has electric motors for bicycles and same batteries and you pedal to just like electric bicycle to make them legal without a driver's license.. those could easily be made into solar car's just by using the solar charger for optibike that's flexible and throw out the heavy seats and the 12volt battery's which only functions The heater air-conditioning and the cigarette lighter thing which was used to charge cellphones etc in the infomercial..so this video should instead be named why solar car's are slower than combustion car's and the answer is because it's still a developing technology! batteries gets better and better each year,,lipo batteries is the reason why we have drones and micro RC helicopters electric motors gets better every year to..i guess first combustion engine's where steam engines, running on burning charcoal boiling water into steam which moves The piston.tbats kinda the same stage we are on electric motor and many other electric thing's ,,, if we could use electricity from positive and negative ion's in the air then use technology developed from that to increase the efficiency of all electric thing's that needs more power i Think electric cars could get better range than any gasoline car

  • Doug D
    Doug D

    Aptera. Look into it, a solar powered 3 wheeled vehicle, with up to 1000 mile potential.

  • Romiman1 H
    Romiman1 H

    Short: There isn´t enough power. You can see it also when looking to solar-race-cars with bicycle-thin wheels and huge panels on top, extremely aerodynamics and closely interiors. But I thinks, all cars should have solar-panels on top, to feed AC-vents when parking under the sun (to avoid hot interiors) or give a little recharge to the traction-battery.

    • French Chris's
      French Chris's

      Absolutely spot on. Parking a car in sunlight, almost regardless of the season, means returning to an oven. Given that this is both uncomfortable and, potentially, dangerous for animals left in the car (sometimes unavoidable for short periods), it would make sense to have a supplementary solar system to help run the air conditioning whilst the car is stationary if it's powered by an ICE, or additional to the battery if powered by electric. I have a vague memory of this having been trialled some years ago. Why has it not made the main stream I wonder ? Admittedly a total power consumption of 5kw is a tall order, but as a supplementary source, why not?

  • Billie Young
    Billie Young

    they exist....the APTERA exist.

  • doorran

    rare earth minerals are not renewable or cheep,

  • Michael Java
    Michael Java

    So this is why tesla keeps making their cars more and more wide each year. They want to cover the car in solar panels

  • Blaž Bohinc
    Blaž Bohinc

    This is such a trivial question to answer I'm not even going to watch the vid, but here's the gist of it: Solar panels don't have high enough energy density. If we could have solar powered cars, they everybody could slap a few solar panels on their roof and be completely energy independent. And we wouldn't need any power plants whatsoever to generate additional power for home use.

  • Mark Bernard
    Mark Bernard

    Hey your math is all wrong based on the average person works & the car sits at least 8 hrs a day. Plus you started by saying it was daytime driving

  • Hot Metal Knives HMK
    Hot Metal Knives HMK

    Because solar panels are a fkin joke to any reasonable person xD

  • Dallas Wood
    Dallas Wood

    Doesn’t his realistic math also assume the sun is directly overhead during all hours of daylight seems like the real numbers would be even lower

    • AnalystPrime

      Conveniently the amount of light any location on Earth has been calculated and can be easily checked online. If the chart says five hours that means a sunny day equals five hours of full production and you only need to worry about how much shade and clouds might block the panels. More important issue is that as the panels are flat on the roof the angle will depend on latitude, and both it and the number of sunny hours may change during a long enough trip.

  • Turning Point
    Turning Point

    The origins of the energy in that petrol comes from the sun so I guess we do have solar powered cars and always have (maybe some that got electricity from geothermal I guess). As we move over to solar and EV's we get a more direct route to that solar energy.

    • Turning Point
      Turning Point

      @Rithesh Murarishetty Yup, the sun is our primary source of energy. Of course there is the geothermal heat from out core and the energy gained from the moon moving away.

    • Rithesh Murarishetty
      Rithesh Murarishetty

      If so then most of the energy earth has is due to the sun or maybe triggered by the sun's energy,photosynthesis and so many other phenomenon too.

  • SirWrender

    Oh my god haha!!!! DUDE I literally have this video concept broken down into a segment in an upcoming Corridor Crew Scale video. This is a great resource to double check my math haha. Thanks Jason!! I hope you've been well!

    • sarat chandra
      sarat chandra

      Can't wait for that video :D

    • Ben Clark
      Ben Clark

      woah. its wren.

  • Andrew Fossatti
    Andrew Fossatti

    Time to get solar panels tethered in space and some really long extension cords 🤣

  • onespeed

    Make it super light like two bicycles stuck side by side, maybe can go all day.

  • joal incontrol
    joal incontrol

    This engineer/mathematics-wizard says the earth is round? My good buddy's uncle Nester would have something to say about that..

  • Jay

    why not instead of a roof being cover why not the whole car be coverd in solar panels? what would that be like ? 80 miles a day?

  • Tomasz Schulz
    Tomasz Schulz

    5:55 Nice try ;) it's not curvature. It's angle of sun beams. sun is local and it's smaller ;) More like H, He & stuff plasma ball(?) Anyway Cool video's. thx for some mind refreshers.Hope i've just left you one.

  • Tom Rekt
    Tom Rekt

    Toyota is selling their Toyota Prius plug-in model in Europe with a solar roof which charges the car a bit when it’s parked, but it does not help much..

  • Jack Frost
    Jack Frost

    This was the worst video I have seen you do. There was no reason to calculate solar energy numbers form space as an ideal. It's not possible to hit that ideal with out stripping the earth of air and electro magnetic field. 33% efficient solar panels are not realistic. 20-25% efficiency is more realistic with out the solar panels costing more then the car. The final calculation was with a 24hr day. If you are getting sun for a full 24 hours. The energy of the sun would be closer to 15-20 W/M2. Not 63 W/M2 per your earlier math for arctic region. Normally I like to watch you videos. This was substandard. Wasted time with math that could not matter. Then used math that was not accurate or realistic. The possible save. Are the comments of people saying your math is under valued for how much energy from the sun hits the earth. Which would be early mistakes, countering some of the later mistakes.

  • dylan scronce
    dylan scronce

    sooo. we need to put giant solar panels into space orbiting our earth to get the maximum. tethered with...cables lol

    • AnalystPrime

      No need for cables, the power can be beamed down even to the night side of the planet. Still wouldn't give much more power than the regular solar panels because no way they wouldn't be designed so nobody can turn it into a weapon.

  • Daniel Arenas
    Daniel Arenas

    I’m curious if these numbers would be any better for an electric semi-trailer truck, with the trailer being covered in solar panels. Of course it would be very expensive and heavy, but I wonder if all the extra surface area for the panels would make it more feasible to actually try out.

    • AnalystPrime

      Thin film panels would weight much less, though have less efficiency. If you got a solid box trailer you could build the panels into the roof and remove need for the weight of rigid panels and the frames to hold them, but many trailers have fabric covers and the roof is meant to be opened so you can lift large cargo in and out, so no panels on those. Actually, I doubt installing panels on frames would be allowed anyway, a camper van can hold couple without much trouble, a long trailer hitting a pothole might shake few 40lb panels loose and re-enact that "surfboard comes loose at 50mph and decapitates someone" scene from wherever that happened...

  • SublimeSparo

    that 'average solar power available' is a bit misleading though isnt it, because you are not driving all around the world on average, you'd typically be driving along a similar latitude most of the time, so not getting the highs+lows that create that average. the result would be that these advertised power/ranges etc would be limited to a band several degrees of latitude above and below the equator, and barely function at latitude's higher/lower than that

  • jade POETRY
    jade POETRY

    The earth is not flat,not what the internet says 🤣🤣🤣

  • trex4586

    I always wondered why they cant integrate large alternators attached to the drive motors on each wheel so that when the motor spins it can be creating the energy needed for propelling the motors and have excess energy for charging the batteries as well. I know its a lot more complicated than I make it sound but with todays technology I bet they can make it happen.

  • Jo Blow
    Jo Blow

    The car being talked about is a two seat, 3 wheeled cockroach and off course this needs to be parked outside in unobstructed sunlight so not inconvenient at all!

    • Pope Facto
      Pope Facto

      @Jo Blow Yes, SOME (which is certainly better than NOTHING). Not having the specs for their PV array in front of me, I can't say how shade-tolerant they are. It doesn't matter for me because there are plenty of places to park in my city which have full sun (top level of a parking garage, middle of a parking lot, etc.) and I definitely wouldn't put it in a garage. You utter moron.

    • Jo Blow
      Jo Blow

      @Pope Facto :"And the sunlight doesn't need to be "unobstructed" for the panels to generate some amount of electricity." SOME! LOL that some is now not much at all. Want to park in a city = shade from tall buildings or maybe a carpark = likely 100% shade, your garage = shade. Do you see a pattern yet? The car is a brain-fart to sucker in greenies who would do far better with House roof solar and an EV. Sheesh, sucker born every minute.

    • Pope Facto
      Pope Facto

      Cockroach? So you don't like the way it looks. Cry some more, you Philistine. And the sunlight doesn't need to be "unobstructed" for the panels to generate some amount of electricity. Sheesh.

  • F.J Gouda
    F.J Gouda

    Well The Technic Universaty in Delft , The Netherlands do have a few solar cars !

  • Yeah

    6:03 Me any time anybody asks me a question: "You have to take into consideration the total area of the Earth's surface…"

  • myopinion

    Why propane cars are not getting in to mass production? Why it burns clean with no emissions

    • AnalystPrime

      It does emit CO2 and other stuff, but the real answer is that oil companies didn't want anything to compete with their gasoline guzzlers.

  • Jane Goodall
    Jane Goodall

    This guy is the best and regurgitating already known facts with zero creative thinking.

  • Justin Hyatt
    Justin Hyatt

    I'm more after increasing the range in a tesla with free energy instead of converting it to be 100% solar. Like going to work, parking in the sun and coming back with 5 or 10 extra miles or not driving during the weekend and starting Monday with 20 or 30 extra miles

  • Rusty Water
    Rusty Water

    Only 1kw/km reaches the earth. Then our pv cells are only 20% efficient.

  • Zach Leuty
    Zach Leuty

    Wait! It's not that bad. In the middle of the US during the summer, the solar insolation (irradiance per area during 1 day) can get up to 10 Kwh per square meter per day for a panel at zero tilt angle (panel mounted on a car). That is a pretty big difference from your calculation sir! Info source in comments

    • AnalystPrime

      Some locations might get full ten hours of noontime equivalent sun, but typical panels are still only ~20% efficient so they get 200W on a square meter. 10h*0.2kW=2kWh. Also, where the heck do you get ten hours without tracking panels?

    • Zach Leuty
      Zach Leuty

      Look up realistic solar insolation maps

  • Zach Leuty
    Zach Leuty

    Great video! But your realistic math is off a bit. Most of the US gets 5 kWh per meter squared per day, and that is averaged over the whole year. You can just look up solar insulation maps of the US

  • Zach Leuty
    Zach Leuty

    Great video! Here is some updated numbers. Solar cell efficenies are defined at Air Mass 1.5 which is about 1,000 watts per meter squared. This irradiance happens in places with the same latitude as Colorado for example. And the theoretical efficiency of Silicon solar cells is more like 28% with modules today reaching 25% efficiency. The 33% number is for the perfect absorber, not Silicon

  • Peter de Jong
    Peter de Jong

    This Dutch solar powered car has slightly better specs: Lightyear One Range 725 km Range in 1 hour charging (solar) 12 km Range in 1 hour 60 kW fast-charging 570 km Energy use 83 Wh/km Dimensions (LxWxH) 5.1x1.9x1.4 meters

  • SecondLifeDesigner

    Let's not use a lithium ion battery pack for the EV. Instead let's use a supercapacitor pack. Why? Because it takes 1/10 the energy needed to store kwh because of the very low internal resistance. This means it takes 1/10 the time to charge the same amount of kilowatt hours as a lithium ion battery pack. So instead of 200 hours it be 20 for 75 kwh pack. Now a 75 kwh pack has a range of 300 miles or so and a 75 kwh supercapacitor battery pack would be huge. Way bigger and heavier than a lithium ion pack. But over 95% of people only drive 30 miles round trip to and from their jobs. You only need a supercapacitor pack that say has 40 miles range. According to my rough armature calculations you could charge a supercapacitor pack to 40 miles in 5 or 6 hours on a 2 foot by 4 foot solar panel that would be small enough to fold up and fit in the trunk. Another option would be to have an even smaller pack that only has say 20 mile range. Drive to work, unfold the solar panel out of your trunk and in 3 hours you will fully charged your pack to 20 miles to drive home. A 40 mile range supercapacitor pack could full charge at a fast DC public charge station in 1.25 minutes or 10.5 minutes on a 240 volt charge station or in 50 minutes on a regular 120 volt 16 amp house electrical outlet. The other benefits of using supercapacitors are no need to heat or cool them, super fast charge times, last for hundreds of thousands of cycles if not a million, never loses capacity, better regenerative braking, can be fully charged and discharged completely without any damage and are cheaper to produce. People are way too hung up on range. A range of 40 miles would be more than sufficient for well over 90% of people. I did the calculations head to head a Model 3 long rage of 300 miles to a 40 mile range super capacitor for a 400 mile trip with the super capacitor EV charging at 240 volt charge station 9 time and the Model 3 charging once at a Tesla super charger for to get the last 100 miles it take the super capacitor EV 90 minutes longer to drive 400 miles. It is a different story if the supercapacitor EV could stop at even lowest fast DC chargers instead. Then they take just about the same amount of time to both drive 400 miles. On longer trips than 400 miles the Model 3 takes way longer than the supercapacitor EV because the first 400 miles both EVs start with a fully charge pack. If both cars had to start with an empty battery pack the Model 3 on a 220 volt household outlet would take 10 hours to get a full charge before they could leave. The supercapacitor EV on 220 volt take just under 11 minutes to fully charge. This would mean the supercapacitor EV would be at the finish line 400 miles away before the Model 3 even was finishing charging and leaving the driveway.

  • Sebastian Weber
    Sebastian Weber

    Something is weird with you Math. My 200W array on my RV produces about 1kwh per day with just a bit over one sqm of surface covered.

  • Emmanuel Westra
    Emmanuel Westra

    Personally, I think the real solution is to find a way to decrease the cost of solar panels (big time), as well as increase efficiency, then have everyone out solar panels on their houses (because the cost makes sense), and make a whole solar power grid (everyone has batteries with their solar panels). Then when people need to charge their vehicles they can. This is what Elon Musk wants to do.

  • Farhan Said
    Farhan Said

    the car of the thumbnail looks like ps5

  • andy de la rue
    andy de la rue

    Yes we do, and there’s a race across Australian for the last twenty years.

    • Don C-M
      Don C-M

      I remember them racing in the 90's. U of Michigan had a great car then

    • Some Other Dude
      Some Other Dude

      Yup, and although these cars wouldn't work in most of the world, they certainly could work in Australia, the american southwest, the entire west coast of South America, the middle east, and northern africa. So why not use them there.

  • Julian Jenkins
    Julian Jenkins

    You can recalculate this as a range extension. In the worst case for a car with a range of 400km, traveling at 100km/h, your daylight charging rate results in a range extension of ~4%. The best case is that you get infinite range if you take at least 8.3 days (from the calculation in the video) to drive the full range of the car. Typical usage is probably somewhere in between.

  • Mike Trieu
    Mike Trieu

    Maybe have a vehicle that pops out a large solar shade out of the roof that tracks the sun when it's parked?

  • Chris M
    Chris M

    Yeah, but it would probably be possible if you didn't worry about all of this math and science nonsense.

  • The Fallout Cinema
    The Fallout Cinema

    I'm kinda confused ... not about the math but I suppose the constants to begin with... if 63 watts per meter squared is the maximum power that could possibly be gained, and then all those inefficiencies stack up, how can the solar panels I have (which are approximately a meter squared, though they aren't perfectly square, more like 2'x4' instead of 3'x3') be rated to produce 100 watt output? And they do indeed get close, of course not all the time but at peak generation its pretty accurate at around 8 amps @ 12V

  • glenn maidhof
    glenn maidhof

    The oil industry will not allow this.

  • Wayne Young
    Wayne Young

    Toyota stared this with the Prius. By recharging the battery

  • live_love_give

    Hey! The earth is flat! Just ask the hundreds of people around the globe and they will prove it to you!

  • Daniel Fowler
    Daniel Fowler

    I think the UFOs we see are aliens waiting to land and give us the key to interstellar travel once we can get our cars to 62mph all sun ev. Once we do that, we can level up.

  • Achim Welsch
    Achim Welsch

    Have you heard of the "Sion" car from Sono Motors/Germany?

  • Adam Versteegh
    Adam Versteegh

    Can everyone also remember that in many countries where there isn’t lots of sun solar is a very poor renewable generation source. In the uk for example wind is the best cost per kw by a long way compared to solar. In my company I am pushing to centralise all generation and buy from big wind farms instead of bothering with any generation. Micro generation often a bad idea. Focus on efficiency! On one of our buildings with the whole roof covered in solar it only produces ~1% of the buildings energy use p/a - is a bad investment and there is a lot of embodied carbon since most are made in China with coal power and don’t have a long lifespan etc.

  • Mr Putin
    Mr Putin

    As we see in California, people are switching back to gasoline cars. And no, we aren't running out of oil in the earth, it's a lie spread for the last 100 years. :)

  • Daniel Dalessandro
    Daniel Dalessandro

    So it DOES work but strictly as a back and forth to work type of vehicle and that’s practically it

  • GalacticOdds

    This is cool the only part that I paused on was the plausibility of the Aptera example-- you don't get 24 hours of sun a day except at the north/south pole (in their respective seasons). Everywhere else it is rational to drive would be far, far less. Then there are other frictionless assumptions made like weather, obstructions to your charge like trees and buildings on your street, or if you're in LA like me, dust that inevitably settles all over the car from pollution or pollen. So it's neat that under very specific circumstances it could work but it doesn't seem realistic for the average consumer. Maybe I'm missing the point.

  • THorne H (GryphonNS)
    THorne H (GryphonNS)

    Looking forward to the day we can all power our homes and cars with just sunlight! But republicans will probably not allow it or blow up the planet before then. Lol.

  • Chris Baty
    Chris Baty

    I believe the Edison 2 won the X prize by being very light and having minimal rolling resistance. Don't solar panels us a lot of heavy metal; Silver, Copper, etc?

  • Plvt0n1vm

    Soooo why don't we have a giant, solar panel infrastructure on the planet, all hooked up together, so we have infinite power from the sun?

  • KrellLab

    MY LARGE SUV IS 100% SOLAR POWERED It works like this: The sun (solar power) causes certain plants to grow, these plants decay naturally and turn into an “All Natural” Energy source that can be easily converted into different forms. One form, called “gasoline” is easily transported and stored until the solar energy is needed. I can drive straight through from Maine to California and recharge my solar powered SUV in less than 5 minutes by conveniently located charging stations. The solar power, (in liquid form) is pumped into my vehicle in a couple of minutes, and I'm back on the road again. If you doubt me, ask any geologist. If there was no sun, there would be no fossil fuels. You should try a solar powered vehicle, they’re great!

  • Jaime Duncan
    Jaime Duncan

    A detail, the speed he is calculating is in a flat surface. The moment you want to go up, then you have push the card and potential energy will move the calculations from bad to worse.

  • No Troll
    No Troll

    You'd have to avoid any shadows when driving and parking and, of course, you could never use an airconditioning. Hot times coming....

    • No Troll
      No Troll

      @Valderon Well, it's a question of how and where you and your friends are living. I don't reach the national average, either, because I live in an inner residential area of a major city... I don't even need my car every single day. But since it's a built-up area, the challenge for a solar-only car would be to find unshaded parking... I think the high national average comes from zoned suburbia where daily commutes are long and where you have to drive miles to do even your essential grocery shopping. More unshaded parking there... but, alas, a lot more range needed...

    • Valderon

      @No Troll Well, I'm not sure why everyone else drives so much. I drive 2 miles to work then 2 miles home. Sometimes shopping for food at the store a mile or two away. The occasional social gathering a few miles away. I don't get what else there is to account for so many more miles. I've never known anyone who actually drives the national average. I've driven about 1600 miles in the last year.

    • No Troll
      No Troll

      @Valderon Says me. 10 miles a day would be less than 4 k m p.a. - way below the national average, you could do that with a golf cart. Fine if that works for you...

    • Valderon

      Says who? I typically drive 5-10 miles a day. I could easily do almost all of my driving using nothing but the sun, even while using AC. Only long trips would require external charging.

  • Weeb's Gaming
    Weeb's Gaming

    This is super based that it debunks some green initiatives for solar power.

  • Tony Martin
    Tony Martin

    I just ordered the Aptera a solar powered car. Yea, it only adds up to 40 miles per day, but for some people, that is all they need. It has a range of 1000 miles when its batteries are fully powered. I got the 400 range version, that’s plenty good for me.

  • tomgnyc

    So to charge a 75 kW hour pack in 30 minutes would take a solar panel 200/0.5*8.7=3,480 square meters!!!

  • John-Patrick McNown
    John-Patrick McNown

    ....but why dont we have solar powered phones?

  • Energy

    It's nice to hear your name every now and then.

  • Agent gumshoe
    Agent gumshoe

    Im just super glad there are smart folks on youtube, thanks.

  • Surferant666

    Surely something is better than nothing

  • Xiang Xing Ong
    Xiang Xing Ong

    Develop solar charging for Tesla.. this will help alot, especially on the charging station.

  • altcurrent

    There is a dutch brand developing a solar car.

  • Aereon

    12 to 19kmh, i dont care its free !!!

  • Phillip Evans
    Phillip Evans

    Does the Bible teach a flat Earth? No! THE BIBLE TEACHES ANYONE WHO IS WILLING TO READ IT. Go ahead. Teach the Earth. It can't hear you. I WIN

  • Isaac Karjala
    Isaac Karjala

    so.... top speed ∝ power/drag with drag ∝ height*width and on a solar powered vehicle, power ∝ length*width so it reduces down to top speed ∝ length/height typical attempts to build solar powered vehicles try minimizing height, but Rhode Island Public Transit Authority is running solar-diesel plug-in hybrid buses. Rhode Island isn't the sunniest and buses aren't quite long enough to go straight solar. there is a passenger tram in a part of Australia that is sunny for being in Australia that is solar powered, and that is basically throwing any attempt at reducing drag or minimizing height and just maximizing the hell out of length. But it's just two cars, so it isn't even really maximizing length. Figure out a way to put solar panels on a freight train without interfering too much with the loading and unloading of intermodal shipping containers, and you'll have a very high power/drag ratio

  • Brad Williams
    Brad Williams

    I think that one day, not in my lifetime, the technology will exist.

8 milj.