Chinese college students invent solar power car

A crowd of onlookers gathered around an unfamiliar looking car in the fifth sports ground of Southwest University in Chongqing on Nov. 17.

The electric car, which looks simply like a car floorboard with an open solar umbrella erected on it, is actually a solar-powered car invented by more than 10 students at the university’s College of Engineering and Technology.

The main structure of the electric car is the solar photovoltaic umbrella. The umbrella consists of four solar photovoltaic panels, and the handle is equipped with an automatic sunlight tracking system, which can track the sunlight at any time and capture the maximum available solar energy.

He Daijie, a college senior and leader of the project, said that the car weighs less than 50 kilograms and is able to store energy from the sun, so it can also run on rainy days.

"It can travel between 40 and 50 kilometers if it stores sufficient solar energy. If the energy is insufficient, users can also charge it with electricity or use it as a bicycle, which is why it is also called a solar-powered electric bicycle," he said.