Inquiry 2

What is a possible way to create a car that can power itself without using fossil fuel? Why do we need to have a car that doesn’t use fossil fuel? Well, currently our planet seems to be having issues such as global warming. So if there is no planet to drive on, there is really no real reason to drive. Also, some say that we are near peak oil. And with that in mind it may be a good idea to get into a good habit of non traditional fuel car. There are many different ways to power a car such as hydrogen, electric, biofuels,compressed natural gas. But I have chosen electric.

So how are we going to acquire this energy? Well, to my understanding we have various ways to create power, such as wind, solar, and hydro just to name a few. I chose to use solar. Well, according to

“The sun strikes every square meter of our planet with more than 1,360 watts of power. Half of that energy is absorbed by the

atmosphere or reflected back into space. 700 watts of power, on average, reaches Earth’s surface. Summed across the half of the Earth that the sun is shining on, that is 89 petawatts of power. By comparison, all of human civilization uses around 15 terrawatts of power, or one six-thousandth as much. In 14 and a half seconds, the sun provides as much

energy to Earth as humanity uses in a day.” That is a lot of power. Well in this case we can use the

power of the sun to power all of our devices, so why not use it on cars?


Now if we use solar panels as a body, and if we get 1 kw-h from this and you have an engine that gets 29 kw-h/100 miles (3.448275862068966 miles per 1 kw-h) and you charged for five hours in the optimal conditions. So that would be 5 kw-h. 5 kw-h would get you 17.24137931034483 miles, and since the average person drives around 40 miles in a day, that is 43.10344827586208% of the distance the average person travels. So just think of what would happen if you doubled the power solar panels collect. You could get 86.20689655172415% of the average distance the average person travels in their car. If Moore’s law is true then the if you got an improved engine it would be 15 kw-h/100 miles then you would get 6.666666666666667 miles for 1 kw-h. If the energy you got from the solar panels was 2 kw you would get 10 kw-h if you charged 5 hours. So that would get you 66.66666666666667 miles for charging ten hours. Also some more to think about is that if the car is more aerodynamic the more efficient it will be.


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