The History of Vehicle Integrated PV (VIPV) From Idea To Reality


The Idea of a solar-powered vehicle or Vehicle Integrated PhotoVoltaic (VIPV) is nothing new. Dates back to the 31st of August in 1955 when William G. Cobb, a GM engineer revealed the world’s first VIPV prototype at General Motors Powerama auto show held in Chicago, Illinois.
“Sunmobile” was the name of his 15-inch long tiny automobile. Sunmobile included 12 photovoltaic cells made of selenium ( a nonmetal substance with conducting properties) to power up a tiny motor that was connected to its rear axle by a pulley. However, the key idea behind that was NOT creating something clean and green which could help to mitigate the environmental effects of diesel cars, as it was not considered a threat at that time. He wanted simply to show us the feasibility of the idea to run cars with solar energy.
Taking this prototype to reality, today there are several attempts to create Solar EVs. For instance, Lightyear, a Dutch company, has made this dream become true. It claims that its VIPV, Lightyear One, can run about 500 miles on a single charge. It is equipped with more than 40 square feet of solar cells. ———-***———-
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Date: Oct 17, 2019 @ 12:53

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