Here’s a really cool looking car (see picture above) – and it’s not just the solar cells on the outside, but also what’s on the inside – the car is electric – that makes it so cool.
The Georgia Tech Solar Jackets modified this Audi sports car to run partially on electricity generated by the solar cells integrated into its body, though an electric motor primarily powers this “solar assisted” EV Audi.
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Solar cells integrated into car body
The Solar Jackets began working on the Audi TT Solar-Assisted Electric Vehicle (SAEV) in 2008. Utilizing a unique blend of solar and stored-electric power, a conventional 120V outlet charges the SAEV’s primary battery pack while thin film solar cells on the car’s roof and hood charge the batteries for the 12-Volt auxiliary system, which includes electric power brakes and steering, headlights, radio and much more.
Okay, so the Solar Jackets’ Audi shows we’re still a little away from mainstream solar-powered cars, meaning cars that are actually fully powered by solar cells on the body of the car.
But, at the very least, this solar-assisted EV shows that solar cells can be integrated into the design of traditional car in aesthetically pleasing ways. And, of course, you can power an EV such as the Audi TT SAEV with solar electricity generated off-board the car itself.
For more information on the Audi TT SAEV, go to http://solarjackets.gatech.edu/
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