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Hanergy unveils solar-powered vehicles

Hanergy unveils its solar EVs

Troubled Chinese solar panel manufacturer claims to have found the answer to a number of solar and EV problems

China’s Hanergy Holding recently unveiled four solar-powered vehicles in Beijing, which it claims can be powered by thin-film solar cells. The group clearly has hopes of kick-starting the solar-powered EV marketplace, but it is unclear how close the technology is to being commercial.

The products included a sports car named Hanergy Solar R. The other cars are the Hanergy Solar O, Hanergy Solar L and Hanergy Solar A.

The four vehicles are integrated with flexible gallium arsenide (GaAs) thin-film solar cells covering 3.5 to 7.5 square meters. More impressively, the Beijing-based company claims that these GaAs dual-junction solar cells have a conversion rate of 31.6%, way above the 20% average for photovoltaics (PV).

The manufacturer claims that these PV cells will enable the cars to be effectively “zero charging” during medium and short distance journeys. With five to six hours of sunlight, the thin-film solar cells on the vehicle are able to generate eight to ten kilowatt-hours of power a day, allowing the vehicle to travel about 80 km, says Hanergy.

The technology is reportedly ready for production, although Hanergy has not unveiled when Chinese consumers will be able to get hold of one. Given Hanergy’s troubled financial state and the questionable readiness of its solar technology, it could be some time.

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