If you came across the article, you’re probably asking the question, “Why are solar powered cars good for the environment?”
For a layperson, the graph of the increasing population might not be as surprising as the graph of increasing cars would be (and that for sure is because of a particular reason).
According to research, the number of cars on the planet, which is currently more than 1.2 billion, will reach up to 1.8 to 2 billion (or more) by 2035.
Environmentally-conscious people will find this news a little disturbing.
This is because they know, how adversely the conventional passenger vehicles affect the different components of our environment.
But this process can’t be stopped.
The industries have to produce vehicles to meet the growing demands of the modern world.
The only thing we can do about this is selecting the best option for the good of our future.
Yes, we can opt for the renewable energy-based vehicles, the solar-powered vehicles.
With the advent of renewable-energy based systems, solar-powered cars have achieved substantial fame in the modern transportation segment.
Several automobile firms are now active in producing solar technology based cars, and thus reshaping the existing automobile industry for a better tomorrow.
So, we can set our sights on the solar-powered cars to protect our environment from further devastation.
That’ll certainly make a big difference.
Before going deeper into the topic, here’s a brief description of what’s a solar car?
A solar car is an electric car that utilizes solar power.
The mechanism is quite simple.
The solar car is equipped with a solar panel that comprises photovoltaic cells.
These cells convert the sunlight (which consists of high energy photons) into electrical energy.
Some of the converted energy is utilized to run the car while some of its portions are stored.
The stored solar energy is used when the car is driven in the absence of daylight.
That is during the night time or on days with cloudy or rainy weather.
As this car runs on solar energy, it doesn’t emit any radiations nor does it produce any noise.
The modern lifestyle demands the use of vehicles regularly.
We can’t simply avoid the use of personal vehicles.
Rather, we can just make some better choices for keeping the quality of our environment intact (or make it better), such as by using solar-powered cars.
But why do we think solar-powered cars are better for our environment?
Here’s the comprehensive answer to this why.
1. Reduce Carbon Emissions Without Much Hassle
Solar-powered cars reduce carbon emissions in manifolds as compared to conventional vehicles and even the plug-in electric vehicles.
As stated by the Natural Resources Defense Council, most of the carbon emission from the transport sector comes from passenger vehicles.
Thus, the use of electric vehicles powered by solar energy can significantly reduce carbon emissions, consequently, improve the quality of the environment.
One of the key contributing factors to global carbon emissions is the personal vehicles.
The cars along with the trucks jointly produce about 1/5th of the total US air emissions.
For every single gallon of gas consumed, these vehicles release nearly 24 pounds of carbon dioxide along with other GHG pollutants.
Besides this, the extraction and refining operations of this per gallon non-renewable fuel produces about 5 pounds of carbon emissions.
And during the running phase, the tailpipe of these vehicles release around 19 pounds of emissions for each gallon of burning fuel.
Keeping these facts under consideration, the automobile corporations (though at a very slow pace) are gradually shifting their businesses.
They’re also building now the solar car kits.
These solar-powered kits can help cars go far distances by employing solar energy.
This reduction in Carbon emissions with solar energy takes place without much hassle.
The basic benefit of using solar power is its convenience and inexhaustibility.
It’s the kind of energy that is available for everyone without any bigger cost.
To get hold of it, you simply need to set up the required equipment, and the process gets completed wherever you want without any difficulty.
The solar kit doesn’t take up ample space and doesn’t create inconvenience.
The tools used in solar power doesn’t require any exceptional care.
2. Reduced Environmental Footprint (GHG Emissions)
Green House Gases (other than Carbon dioxide) such as nitrous oxide and methane are also a nuisance for the environment.
Their increased amounts affect the environment in myriads of ways.
Firstly, they’re harmful to the health of the plants (the agriculture sector) and secondly, they’re toxic to human health (causing several diseases).
The best alternative in the transportation sector to reduce GHG emissions is the use of solar-powered cars.
The solar-powered cars don’t emit any chemicals as they rely on the sun’s energy.
The photon of solar light hits the photovoltaic cells and consequently excites the electrons there.
These excited electrons create an electron flow which generates the electric current.
This electrical energy is then utilized to run the car.
The whole process produces clean energy without emitting GHG or any other pollutant.
Thus, solar-powered cars cut down GHG emissions and contribute positively to the environment.
So switching your vehicle from the high GHG producing traditional car to the GHG emission-free solar-powered car would reduce your GHG footprint to a noteworthy level.
The solar-powered electric vehicles can significantly improve the overall quality of the air and the whole environment by controlling the emission rates.
This clean energy reportedly lowers down the ground level of Ozone.
According to environmental specialists, the use of solar power along with electric vehicles can considerably reduce the ecological footprint of the suburban population.
3. Smog (PM 2.5) Reduction
In comparison to conventional cars, the electric cars which operate on solar power, emit much lower amounts of PM 2.5 from the wearing of the tire and that of the brake.
Since, they work on solar energy, the PM 2.5 emission from the fuel is also at the zero levels.
So, the atmosphere of the area where solar-powered cars run will surely have the least quantity of particulate matter 2.5 sourced out from the transportation sector.
Therefore, both personal vehicles, as well as public transport, should be shifted on the solar-powered vehicles gradually.
About one half of the American population dwell in areas where the air quality doesn’t meet the Federal Environmental standard.
A number of air pollutants lie among the leading causes of premature deaths annually.
But studies have shown that solar-powered cars don’t produce any smog-forming chemicals.
So, a shift in passenger vehicles from the conventional to the solar-powered electric cars can significantly reduce the rate of emissions.
And consequently, contribute to the improvement of air quality.
Based on the lower emissions, solar power reduces the risks of chronic bronchitis, common lung diseases, and cardiovascular ailments.
So, the benefits of solar-powered vehicles are evident in this regard too.
This technology not only saves the environment by cutting down the toxic emissions.
But, it also benefits you by protecting your health and well-being, as well as the health of the people around you.
4. Reduction in Thermal Pollution – Global Warming
Solar-powered cars reduce thermal pollution.
And this reduction in thermal pollution influences global warming.
The mechanism is simple.
According to research, the solar panel reduces thermal energy by two main means.
Firstly, it cuts down the level of fossil fuel consumption.
And secondly, it reduces the carbon and other GHG emissions (which are mainly responsible for the retention of heat in our atmosphere).
The same fact goes for solar-powered cars.
When you replace a conventional car with a solar-powered electric car, the consumption of fossil fuel from your end is diminished to a much lower level.
When a solar-powered car runs, it doesn’t produce carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide or methane, thus your environmental footprint is further reduced.
On the other hand, when fossil fuel is burnt, numerous harmful emissions are produced which badly impacts the different environmental components like water, soil, and air.
The more these fuels are burnt, the more contaminated these natural assets become, the more our well-being is at stake.
Another associated problem that is directly or indirectly linked with global warming is the extinction of species.
The rise in temperature not only affects the glacier melting and consequently the sea level rise, but it also disintegrates the marine and land resources which are home to many precious species of plants and animals.
If we continue to pollute our environment with the excessive heat, we’ll lose a greater number of species than we’ve lost in the previous sixty million years altogether.
Thus, a single step taken from your side would consequently impact the temperature of the earth in manifolds.
If you go for the eco-friendly choices, you’ll fulfill your share of responsibility.
And instead of being a part of the much larger group that is contributing negatively to the global warming, you’d be cutting your share from this contribution.
Consequently, you become a part of the fraction of population that is striving to protect the planet for its future generation.
5. Solar-Powered Cars Impact Climate Change
Solar-powered Electric vehicles (EVs) are going to be the key elements in the future transport sector.
They’ve specific properties to meet the requirements of the modern world’s climate change concern.
They’re designed to reduce the emissions of climate change contributing elements to a zero level.
The solar energy-based vehicles directly or indirectly function to mitigate the vehicular emissions in alignment with the Paris Agreement’s goals.
A single household installation of the solar power system can cause a considerable impact on climate change patterns.
According to the official US records, an average household consumes 8,280 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity annually.
By converting the energy consumption from fossil fuel to solar technology, there will be an equivalent impact in the reduction of emissions as if 150 trees have been planted annually.
On average, the consumption of electricity per household in New York is almost 6,864 kWh of electricity per year.
If that consumption need is met by solar energy, the emissions will get reduced to a level corresponding to the elimination of utilization of about 5000 pounds of coal annually.
The same is the case of the transport sector.
Solar-powered vehicles that reduce the emission at a twofold level can enormously impact the pattern of climate change in the long run.
The number of emissions through the use of a solar-powered car can significantly be diminished and in turn, the climate change crises can be tackled on a global scale.
6. Cut down the Non-Renewable Energy Consumption
The human population is exponentially increasing and the basic resource on which the modern world relies is energy from fossil fuels.
But observing the condition of our current environment along with the condition of the fossil fuels, we ought to make some wise changes.
In the past few decades, we’ve used fossil fuels quite inefficiently.
We’ve consumed a greater portion of the non-renewable fossil fuels’ energy for our profits.
But, because this is a finite resource, the world is now moving towards renewable energy resources, among which the solar energy lies at the top of the list.
The sun produces an enormous amount of energy each moment (approximately 173,000 terawatts/second).
This amount is almost ten thousand times more than the amount of all the energy available on the earth.
So why not switch our energy source to a long-lasting, clean and powerful energy source.
As compared to fossil fuels, solar energy is much cheaper, cleaner and safe for our environment.
7. Reduction in the Cost of Fuel
In the coming years, the cost of solar energy will get reduced.
According to the estimates, there might be a twenty-four to twenty-five percent decrease in the price of solar energy in the coming decade.
And by the year 2050, solar energy would be cheaper by more than forty percent by the price of what it’s right now.
Corresponding to the rate of solar energy, the prices of the solar-powered electric cars will also get reduced.
Those who are investing in the solar powers at the household level i.e. installing the solar panels at their homes will surely get the benefit in the long term in the form of return on investment in several ways.
Installing solar panels at home and then fuelling an electric car with that solar power, lets the homeowners not only spend less on the utilities, but it’ll also reduce the transportation charges.
The situation may vary from case to case i.e. several factors govern the overall cost.
The main factors include the scale of the solar power system, the rate of consumption and the number and type of vehicles.
But, on the whole, the transportation cost will get reduced in the coming decades.
Besides getting the perks at the consumption level, the consumers will get the benefits from the government as well.
Domestic solar power includes several financial incentives from the government, such as the federal tax credits as well as the local credits and grants.
From the market’s perspective, as new solar-based electric cars will be produced, the prices of the renowned models will further decline.
Market specialists predict that the sticker price of solar-powered electric cars will soon become as good as that of a regular
The competition has already arisen in the current market place for solar-powered car accessories.
As the price of batteries, motors, and other accessories will further drop, the price of the automobiles will also go down.
8. Maintenance of Solar-powered Cars – Less Stress on the Environment & Its Resources
Based on the source of energy, solar-powered cars don’t put any stress on the environment.
The conventional car works on the fossil fuels that require heavy mining operations, machinery, refining cost and fuel transportation from the refineries to the fuel stations.
On the other hand, the solar-powered electric cars work on the solar power collected through the solar panels which are installed once for a longer period.
There’s no requirement for any heavy mining operations (the sunlight hits the earth’s surface directly).
So, land degradation and habitat loss aren’t the penalties we’ve to face because of this energy form.
Since sunlight reaches almost everywhere, this energy source doesn’t require any sort of transportation.
The solar energy gives ease regarding land use, as it doesn’t compete with agricultural projects over the land resources (unlike the other renewable energy sources do e.g. wind energy).
The solar panels don’t need and water for cooling purposes.
Therefore solar-powered cars put no pressure on the already scarce water resources.
The upkeep of the solar setup is also easy and truly budget-friendly.
As they don’t require water or any particular scrubbing routines (and since no waste is produced at all!).
You can simply install the solar panel for one time and keep using it again and again for years.
Being a renewable resource, solar energy can serve the ever-increasing human population’s ever-increasing energy demands.
That can only be fulfilled with infinite energy supply in comparison to the limited fossil fuel resources which will end up at some point of time in the future.
So, using solar-powered vehicles is the best solution for the current and future world from both the investment, as well as the consumption point of view.
9. Reduction in Noise Pollution
The solar energy-based vehicles are not only efficient in the way they protect the environment from air pollutants and put less stress on the other resources.
But they’re quiet and smooth when being used.
The solar-powered cars produce no noise at all and work inaudibly without generating any disturbance in the surrounding environment.
In 2018, a study was conducted to compare the efficiency of solar-powered hybrid cars with the wind-powered and the ambient noise transducer-based cars.
According to the results of this study, solar-powered cars are the most efficient ones in terms of energy generation as well as noise control.
So, what can be more valuable than a noiseless, smooth-running vehicle that is not harming the environment in any way?
This is certainly the best picture of a safe tomorrow.
People are using the passenger vehicles that are harmless to their health and well-being.
Solar cars don’t produce any unwanted emissions and sounds.
They’re also not heavy on their pockets as well.
The process of gaining solar energy is soundless.
It has no side effects at all.
And it doesn’t generate any hazardous waste.
According to the estimates, the development in this particular sector (solar energy) can enhance energy production (almost tenfold) to meet the world’s demand.
10. Solar Energy Continues to Work During Natural Catastrophes
Unlike conventional energy-based cars, solar-powered vehicles can work on their own in the hour of crisis.
When a natural hazard hits the earth, the traditional power plant doesn’t work efficiently and the availability of traditional fuel becomes uncertain at times.
But, as we know, solar energy doesn’t need any power lines, complicated equipment or transportable fuel.
This energy remains available without any external support.
This quality makes solar-powered cars a better option.
With the release of the fully solar-powered car, namely Lightyear One, the solar-powered vehicles industry has taken a substantial step.
The car is run employing a sixteen square feet solar panel that lies on the roof of it.
This car can efficiently cover about four hundred and fifty miles in one go.
This is just the beginning.
The solar technology is developing rapidly.
So, the current challenges would surely be met soon.
As, the current solar-powered vehicles have tackled the issues of emissions, cost and noise control, future solar vehicles will resolve the issues of mileage efficiently.
Another important aspect that must be addressed here is the weightlessness of solar panels.
This quality makes solar-powered cars the best choice in the hour of crisis.
Electric Vehicles are already working well in the modern era.
There are nearly 350,000 electric vehicles already running in the US alone.
Although this number sounds quite insignificant in comparison with the conventional fossil fuel-based passenger vehicles.
But still, it’s growing.
According to the experts’ predictions, the solar-powered electric vehicles would stretch up to sixty percent of the sales by the year 2050.
According to some theories, there would be almost four million solar-powered electric vehicles on the roads by the year 2025.
As the solar-power is continuing to grow, the US has already touched the milestone of 1 million solar-power system setups.
The solar-powered cars can be categorized as the future of global transport systems.
They’re the cheapest, safest and most environment-friendly option currently available.
We hope that you like the above-mentioned facts regarding why solar-powered cars are good for our environment.
Do share with us what you already know (or have experienced) regarding the solar-powered vehicles, particularly concerning its influence on the environment.