Sri Lanka Develops Solar-Assisted Electric Vehicle

October 26, 2003 by Jeff Shepard

A solar-electric vehicle has been developed by the Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Moratuwa (Sri Lanka) in collaboration with the Korea International Cooperation Agency. The vehicle is a two-seater, city car that is driven by a dc electric motor.

The electricity is supplied by a battery bank. The batteries can be charged solar panels that are fixed on the body of the vehicle or using household electricity supply. The vehicle is designed to have a maximum speed of 40km/h. It can be driven for about 40km with a single charge.

The total cost of the vehicle is around Rs. 400,000, the major component being the cost of the photovoltaic cells. The vehicle can be used as a short-distance utility vehicle. It can also be readily used in an enclosed area like in an airport terminal or a warehouse since it does not generate air pollution like vehicles fitted with IC engines.