Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Chinese company produces 1st solar-powered car

One of China's first group of solar-powered cars went on display last Friday at the 29th Zhejiang International Bicycles and Electric-powered Cars Exhibition in Hangzhou, eastern China's Zhejiang Province, Hangzhou.com.cn reported.

A solar-powered car is on display on October 9, 2008 in Hangzhou.

The mini car produced by Zhejiang's 001 Group was designed to target the increasingly serious energy crisis. The group has so far produced over 10 such cars and each of them will sell for 38,000 yuan (US$5,560).

Sheng Gangxiang, an engineer at the Zhejiang 001 Group, told reporters that the vehicles have solar panels on their roofs that turn the sun's rays into energy to get them going. The car can absorb 95 percent of the solar energy it takes in, however, it can only transform 14 to 17 percent of that into electricity, roughly the same as solar cars manufactured elsewhere.

The solar-driven car can travel 150 kilometers after 30 hours of solar charging. But an only one-hour charge will get the car going for only five kilometers.

At present, solar energy is mostly used in water heaters in China.

(CRI October 14, 2008)

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