Solar cars are generally thought of vehicles with solar energy as their secondary charging source after mains electricity. Their frequent requirement of an electrical charge has made us wonder whether there will ever be a car that uses only solar energy to drive its wheels. Good news for the energy skeptics like me as this new solar sports car Immortus can run non-stop entirely on solar if there is enough light intensity falling on its 7 square meter spread photovoltaic panels.
The speed of many previous solar cars had also been criticized because they resembled golf carts in functionality rather than actual passenger cars. EVX’s Immortus has been designed to operate on an improved 60 Km/h speed that is much better for unlimited distance. The exclusive design of the Immortus has been based on the good work of an Australian Aurora Solar car team that has managed to combine extreme aerodynamics with maximized sun exposure. This includes the use of covered wheels and attaching solar panels to them too.
Other solar sports car that have focused on speed have largely failed on the energy front, but the Immortus has been made keeping in mind the practicality of the road. It can go from 0-100 Km/h in less than seven seconds and attain top speeds of 150 Km/h. It has almost no storage space, so the company has called it a fun purpose sports car with the option to go around on solar for long rides.
But just how was Immortus able to achieve the desired solar replenishment so that the car can go on forever? The main theory is to cut the weight and increase the surface area to install solar panels. Other cars like Tesla Model S have an enormous 85 KWh battery packs on their backs while the Immortus operates on a modest 10 KWh one. It is a testament to the optimized design of the car that its able to do well enough on this humble source of power.
It uses twin DC motors mounted on both real wheel hubs providing a total of 40 KW of power. 40 KW seems a lot less electric cars, but the design of he car makes good use of it. A lightweight 550-Kg frame ensures that these motors provide as much power-to-weight ratio like a Mazda MX-5, which speaks volumes of its utility as a sports car as well. Its tires are designed very well for the purpose of solar optimization, and they are not meant for rough roads at all. They are extremely thin rimmed and low-friction ones designed to operate on the limited power of its motors.
Due to all the energy conservation methods, the car can go for around 400 Km even in night time on a single charge. In real intensity sunlight, you can go on forever, as long as you remain in the 60 Km/h bracket. If you are driving at 85 Km/h, the battery will end in 550 kilometers.
The car is going to go into limited production in the future with 100 a likely number. It’s high-priced 370,000 $ tag will only lower the expectations of the public around the car as it can only be purchased by wealthy people looking for some unique stuff. The company is clear about not going into mass production because they aren’t an organized and funded company like Tesla. EVX is currently looking for funds to go into production, and the CEO will be taking a scaled down version of the Immortus to Las Vegas to get a 1.5 million dollar manufacturing kickstart at SEMA.
Although it won’t get big in the commercial market, Immortus has stepped up the realization of a perfect solar car that many people are desperately waiting for. As photovoltaic technology and battery timing increases, we will edge more closely towards that car shortly. Perhaps a partnership between Tesla and EVX could prove useful in the future.