Solar Powered Electric Vehicles

Private enterprise is also joining forces in collaborative efforts to converge smart technologies with solar energy to put these carports on the map.

Pairing solar power panel charging stations with electric cars will be the wave of the future in automotive technology, according to Nick Hylla of the Midwest Renewable Energy Association.

"Electric vehicles are going to be a transformative technology" Hylla told Newsline 9.

Hylla leads the Portage County association that focuses on green energy education. One of the association’s projects is constructing a solar panel powered electric car power station.

"Solar-electric systems by their nature produce high value electricity from a free resource, which is the sun. So if you have that electricity, pairing it with an electric vehicle makes a lot of sense" Hylla said.

Chevrolet has unveiled its Volt model that runs on electricity for the first 35 miles of transport.

"We’ve had this car for about three weeks now, and we’ve used .6 gallons of gas" Joe Alexander of Len Dudas Motors said. "The Volt is that gateway car that will make us change the way we think about a car platform."

Purchasing an electric car and solar panel array to power it isn’t cheap right now. But Hylla says people should beware of sticker shock.

"How much did the first cell phones cost? How much did the first iPods cost? And how much do they cost now?" he said.

To view extended footage of the Chevy Volt’s solar-powered test drive, check out WAOW’s Web Extra Footage: