There was a time when the Xof1 did not have much competition in solar-powered car category. It was the first car to break world record for the longest distance traveled entirely on solar power. After that, universities and entrepreneurs started to show interest in development of zero-emission vehicles that could be powered by sun. That will cut fossil fuel consumption, which will further cut down carbon emissions and, maybe, help humanity delay global warming for a while. The best solar-powered automotive engineering is mostly seen at solar race challenges such as World Solar Challenge. Automotive designers and car manufactures are forced to make a shift to electric or hybrid-electric models. The future holds much more than presently we can invent. For now, we have listed top five cars that are entirely powered by solar energy.
Stella Lux by Solar Team Eindhoven
Stella Lux was built by the Solar Team Eindhoven for Australia’s World Solar Challenge. It’s a family car capable of carrying passengers unlike other candidates in its category. Additional seats are eschewed instead of just single-cockpit seating arrangement, which makes it capable of accommodating three passengers and a driver. The team managed to keep it lightweight despite its seating capacity.
Immortus, as the name suggests, is a 100 percent solar-powered supercar designed by Melbourne-based automaker EVX Ventures. Best part is the designer managed to provide it a stylish, luxurious look, which is otherwise missing in most of solar-powered cars due to installation of solar modules. The car has 75-square-feet of photovoltaic panels attached to its roof. The car is a complete green ride, but with an estimated starting price around $370,0000, it isn’t a budget-friendly deal at all.
This sleek solar racer dominated this year’s World Solar Challenge and was fifth consecutive win for the Dutch team. It is the lightest solar-powered car weighing just 331 pounds. At the competition, it outshined all others while cruising at an average speed of 59-62 miles per hour.
This flying saucer-shaped car was first rolled out in 2008 when it broke world record for the longest distance traveled on solar power. Designer Marcelo da Luz built it to compete in the WSC but changed his mind later. He did all that without corporate sponsorship. The record was surpassed soon by others, but still the Xof1 remains one of the pioneering designs in solar car segment.
Other than university students, engineering enthusiasts, and entrepreneurs, car manufacturers also jumped into the market. Ford first showcased the C-Max Solar Energi at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show.
The roof is covered with high-efficiency photovoltaic panels and is fitted with Fresnel lens that amplifies solar energy eight times. This arrangement makes it possible for the car to run completely on solar power without any supplementary source of fuel. Since 2014, Ford is reportedly conducting real-world tests on this model.