On Sep 27, 2014, at 2:21 AM, EVDL Administrator via EV <ev@lists.evdl.org> 

> I would add that for an EV hobbyist, building a car like this would be one 
> heck of an undertaking.  Maybe Lawrence can do it.  I would love to see him 
> succeed.  I know I couldn't.


The solar challenge is always and forever going to be a great way to push the 
boundaries of vehicular efficiency, because it places such an unavoidable and 
_very_ low limit on power consumption. You're never going to get more than a 
kilowatt per square meter of vehicular footprint under ideal sunny conditions, 
and that's just barely enough to power a perfectly-efficient vehicle with human 
passengers at freeway speeds. So, you don't need any sports governing body 
defining limits on engine size or vehicle weight or the like; just requiring 
the vehicle to be solar powered serves as a proxy for all those sorts of things.

But cover the car's parking space with optimally-oriented solar panels and, by 
definition, that parking space generates significantly more electricity than 
the car itself ever will; simple geometry guarantees this.

So, again, many -- at least a significant percentage, and possibly even a 
majority -- of electric vehicles are _already_ solar powered, which is as it 
should be. But, with rounding, 0.000% of solar-powered electric vehicles are or 
ever will carry their panels with them, and that's the way it's always going to 

It's also the way it _should_ be: a self-solar-powered car's electricity is 
only ever going to move the car, but a solar-powered car that gets its 
electricity from house rooftop panels is going to move the car _and_ power all 
those household appliances _and,_ very possibly, some of the neighbor's 
household appliances as well. And all for much less money per watt-hour, so 
what's not to love?

Approach building a self-solar-powered car the same way you would any race 
vehicle: as an engineering challenge (and, presumably, one helluva fun 
project). But don't fool yourself into thinking it's even remotely practical or 
economical or has any widespread applications.

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