During 2010 we saw some amazing concept cars being developed by some of the top designers and car manufacturers in the world. Whether these are ever to reach production is another matter entirely, but it is encouraging to see resources being spent in this vital area. Ever since the combustion engine there has been no dramatic break through for a totally new and innovative propulsion system that is cost effective and sustainable.
While these cars are assuming further breakthroughs in harvesting solar energy in enough quantities to satisfy the consumer and at a price that is deemed suitable, we might see a dramatic breakthrough in an entirely new field yet to be discovered. Whatever the final solution will prove to be, it needs to happen sooner rather than later and research and development funding needs to be a priority for governments and corporation alike.
This has to be my favorite and if we are ranking solar cars then this must be number one on my list. A really cool looking car that is also a flying machine giving one the ultimate in driving experience and freedom. With the wheels swiveling outward and back to provide updraft and take-off, energy is provided by solar panels spread over the roof. This would make traffic jams a thing of the past, although our skies might be the next gridlock highways of the future that will need its own technologies to be developed.
The concept car by industrial designers Wang Yanchao and Zhang Zhizhen, this is a futuristic car with no operating costs. The idea is the super efficient car harvests enough solar energy on the move to provide sufficient power by splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen.
The hydrogen is then used to power the car offering a truly green ride.
Nissan iV is a high-performance EV inspired by nature’s beauty. This super-lightweight sports tourer features “organic synthetics” a revolutionary manufacturing technique in which automotive parts are cultivated like agriculture in a 100% sustainable, carbon-neutral process.
According to top graphic designer and computer scientist John Maeda “Now, in case you hadn’t noticed this all sounds rather far-fetched. But because the Nissan iV is just a concept vehicle which was developed mainly for fun, the engineering details released by Mazda don’t need to fit with what is possible with current technology. But that doesn’t mean it’s not an interesting or thought provoking concept….”
Designed by Miika Heikkinen to represent Opel in the year 2049, the single seater is designed to navigate around busy cities in a relaxing and clean way. Making use of lightweight materials and clear solar panels as the main power source, the vehicles chassis will also be designed to harvest energy from the bodies movement. This is another one I would like to own, along with my YEE flying machine. Perhaps we will see a combination of the two, now there is a thought.
Conceptualized by designer Hazman Malik, the Green Cab concept electric vehicle aims to reduce pollution levels on busy streets. The vehicle hasn’t been designed to provide a luxurious ride, but meets the demands of a simple tourist vehicle. The electric batteries onboard the vehicle can be recharged by an array of solar panels and kinetic energy generators which harvest energy from the wheels.
While we may never see any of these in production, there are bound to be some amazing developments in the next few years as we get closer to solving our oil dependency. What car would you see yourself driving in the future? Perhaps a self driving vehicle designed as an entertainment centre with true 3-D gaming capabilities to while away the hours on the road…..