The usage of the conventional sources of energy like coal and petroleum is growing at a rapid rate and since they are perishable, the world would finally end up with no more such resources. The majority is being used in the transport sector. On- road vehicle population is increasing rapidly and is expected to grow higher and higher. Thus there is a need of driving vehicles by using resources like bio fuels, electric drive, solar energy and many more.
Electric Micro Super Car:
In one such initiative by EU(European Union) an electric micro super-car concept has been developed.This concept is a product of three years, million dollars of investment between industry and academia along with lot of hard work form the designers team. Electric cars are powered by energy from batteries and which are further charged by power generated by power plants. Thus these vehicles are also not completely clean because pollutants are released during electricity generation.
The electric micro super-car concept is an all green car as it is powered by solar energy. The project named P-MOB is focused on development of light weight electric vehicles with harvesting of solar energy for mobility and low aerodynamic drag. The vehicle is designed considering the urban driving conditions.
The vehicle is a three seater, solar powered with a mass less than 600 kg without batteries pack. It has top speed of 100 kmph and fully charged battery range of 100km. However when powered by solar energy alone, it can manage 20 km based on testing done on Fit test tracks in Italy. 20 km distance is found to be more than the average distance by daily commuters in Europe. This makes it suitable for short city drives and will not be able to cope up with the long highway drives. It has a kinetic energy recovery system during braking and is claimed to have 30 percent less aerodynamic drag when compared to the vehicles of same class.The little car has a good deal of style, four wheel drive, good handling and swift acceleration.
The vehicle is made from a low-cost tubular steel frame with sheet metal forming in order to comply with the crash worthiness based on regulations. It has two doors on one side which makes it safe and ergonomic for passengers. In order to make it compact, the designers have installed an integration system technique which simultaneously works with several operating systems like magnetic controls, solar cells and power management devices. The system allows two motors and two differentials to function simultaneously for achieving four wheel drive capability. It also helps in providing better control on sharp turns, higher grip in wet and icy road conditions, faster acceleration without drawing large power. In this type of vehicle’s where the output power is small such integration system helps in the energy management of the vehicle. Mono-crystalline solar cells with self control systems are installed.
The self control helps in compensating for the shadow falling on the vehicle. The solar panels are installed on the vehicle roof and windshields under an area of around 2 square meters. The panels have smart diodes to minimize energy loss during low light conditions. The concept also showcases the distribution of the battery modules. The photo voltaic can be used to power front axle motors and the batteries for rear axle. The batteries (8 kg pack)can also be swapped very easily for driving only over solar power. With minor changes the vehicle can comply with the regulations for micro electric vehicles as well as for M1 vehicle category. Such concepts are being seen as business booster’s by manufacturers. All the concepts of this vehicle are patented.
Electric micro super car’s have met the safety aspects, lowest footprints, very low energy usage, which would make this vehicle ideal for urban roads. Green vehicles definitely have the potential of taking a large share of automotive markets across the globe. They will be supported by the subsidy from the respective Government authorities of every country.
In India, the government has a plan of National electric mobility mission plan which will provide a subsidy of around 14, 000 crores for electric vehicles. Thus there is huge potential of business in this range of vehicles. At present intensive research is going on to find the ways for future mobility. All this is because we are getting depleted of the conventional resources at a fast phase.