Research Demonstrates Effectiveness of Solar Panels For Vehicle Range Extension

University of Windsor associate professor Narayan Kar, left, and Unconquered Sun founder and CEO Sean Moore, in front of a electric powered shuttle outfitted with solar panels. (Photo:  Julie Kotsis/The Windsor Star)

University of Windsor associate professor Narayan Kar, left, and Unconquered Sun founder and CEO Sean Moore, in front of a electric powered shuttle outfitted with solar panels. (Photo: Julie Kotsis/The Windsor Star)

Researchers from the University of Windsor have conducted testing that show the effectiveness of solar panels to extend the range of electric vehicles. The research was performed in collaboration with Unconquered Sun Solar Technologies, a solar panel company based in Ontario with manufacturing facilities in Windsor. According to the company’s management, the testing showed that driving range could be extended 45% on average. Unconquered Sun is planning on launching a line of low-speed vehicles with rooftop solar panels in the Spring. For the testing, the solar panels used Lexan rather than heavier glass for the lamination of the solar cells. Learn more: ¬†Windsorstar.com

Comment:¬† There are a number of companies in the market that provide electric STOVs with solar panel options. For example, some of Polaris’ GEM as well as Club Car provide a solar panel option from Solardrive for some of their electric vehicles. This research is just one more sign that this trend is likely to continue and even gain more momentum. The college/university market which has a strong interest in building green and sustainable fleets are a likely target for this type of vehicle option.

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