This may be a relevant adventure story, now 5 years old, about lessons from a
Canadian solar car, which as far as I know still holds the distance record.
Google XOF1, or look at and you’ll find some references. The car
named XOF1 travelled more than 35,000 km in the US and Canada, using only
900 W of solar in 8 strings and about 3.8 kWh of Kokam cells. Marcelo never
charged from the grid.

One sunny day on a trip to Whitehorse the car travelled 300 miles, starting
with a fully charged battery. It accelerated zero to 50 in 6 seconds.
Efficiency is the key to this success; the car was very light and featured
no creature comforts. It looked like a giant cockroach, and in Alaska was
accused by a 911 caller of being not a cockroach but a UFO. A 3 wheeler, the
car was driven by a single hub motor in the rear.

The solar array lifted up on struts to allow the driver in and out of the
car, and when stationary it could be tilted to the right at any angle to
maximize charging current during morning and afternoon while the sun was low
in the sky. That was particularly important when it travelled north of the
Arctic Circle where the sun is always low in the sky.

Its developer Marcelo da Luz, assisted by many supporters, built it with
goals to build a solar car and set a world distance record, and take on a
real challenge for a solar car—travel above the Arctic Circle. His broader
mission was to fulfill a dream to inspire others--particularly children--to
accomplish their own dreams, and to benefit mankind and the environment. 

I’d conclude that spectacular solar car performance is possible if one is
willing to be uncomfortable while driving it. Surely more comfort is
possible with less spectacular performance.

Here are some stats:
Weight  Approx 300 kg (w driver)
Occupants       1 (driver)
Length  5 m
Width   1.8 m
Height  0.9 m
Ground clearance        0.4 m
Frontal area    0.723 sq. m
Weight distribution     65% front, 35% rear
Wheel track     1.2 m
Wheelbase       2.0 m
Wheel configuration     3 (2 front, 1 rear)
Tires   SLR93, 90 psi
Chassis Polyurethane foam, covered with carbon fiber reinforced fiberglass
Body (upper shell)      Foam, covered with fiberglass
Steering        Handlebar
Front brake     Hydraulic disc
Rear brake      Electrical (regen, motor)
Battery EP Kokam, Li-Ion, 40 Ah, 27 Cells
Battery voltage 96 v
Motor   NGM, brushless dc, 84-108 v
Solar cells     Siemens, mono-crystalline, 15%
Array area      7.144 sq. m

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