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Solar Carports And...

March 03, 2015 12:24

Electric vehicles are creating buzz in the automobile industry. With an aim to promote electric cars in India, the government, recently, allocated Rs.75 crore for electric vehicles, and announced 6% excise duty concession on the hybrid and electric vehicles. Major automakers like Mahindra & Mahindra, General Motors, Toyota, Nissan and Hyundai are working on this technology and introduced a few products that grabbed attention worldwide.

Electric cars come powered by a battery that consists of electro-chemical ‘cells’, usually lithium-polymer or lithium-ion cells. These cells convert the direct current (DC) to alternative current (AC), using an inverter, for generating electricity and transmitting it to induction motor. We have few electric cars in India such as Mahindra e2o, Toyota Prius etc.

Solar-powered cars, too, are emerging as a potential alternative to conventional internal combustion engine-based vehicles. Solar vehicles use a solar panel or photovoltaic cells, usually Nickel-Cadmium/ Nickel-metal hyride/ Lithium polymer/ Lithium ion/ batteries, which is mounted on the top of the vehicle. Some countries have been working on building car ports to further promote solar powered vehicles. These carports, in large parking areas, enable solar vehicles to produce electricity, while offering a covered parking.

Advantages of Solar carports:

• These are simple and economical alternatives to complex and costly roof mount systems.
• The existing parking areas can be utilized for generating electricity or power. It doesn’t require special infrastructure or valuable real estate.
• These carports provide covered parking for cars.
• Solar carports parking spaces increase energy production that further can be stored in car’s battery, and used during night or a cloudy day.
• It requires less or no maintenance.
• Solar panels are easy to access and repair.
• Solar powered carports can be customized, and the alignment of panels can be optimized for better energy production.

Advantages of Green cars:

Green cars are more efficient and economical than conventional vehicles. These vehicles are eco-friendly, as they don’t burn fuel and have zero emission level. Electric, hybrid or solar vehicles don’t emit greenhouse or toxic gases. Most of the green vehicles are made-up of lightweight aluminum components that aid to their handling and driving comfort. These vehicles don’t require a transmission, though the power delivery is consistent across different rev range.

Eco-friendly vehicles reduce dependency on non-renewable or fossil fuel, and also control global climate change and pollution. Some models are equipped with advanced comfort-enhancing and safety features too. However, there are design and infrastructure challenges that need to be dealt first. Unlike developed nations, consumers still don’t prefer to buy green cars in India. The government has to be more serious for increasing awareness and promoting electric or hybrid vehicles in the country.

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