Prototypes of cars made by students are a dime-a-dozen. However, this prototype solar car cuts through the clutter. SERVe or Solar Electric Road Vehicle is a two-seater solar car that can reach a maximum of 60 kmph. It is fully designed by students of Manipal Institute of Technology, Karnataka, India.
The car was designed and put together by SolarMobil Manipal, a group of 27 students from different streams, and backed by Tata Solar Power. It weighs 590 kg and built at a cost of roughly BD 15000. While it was sponsored by many corporate houses, the vital solar modules were provided by Tata Solar Power.
Speaking at the launch of the SERVe (Solar Electric Road Vehicle), Ashish Khanna, CEO, Tata Solar Power, said, “The innovation resonates with our core values. Hence, we have provided the students a platform.”
The customised solar panels provided by the group weigh just 35 kg and provide up to 960 watts power.
SolarMobil Manipal team manager Jeet Banerjee said that the car took two years to build.
The cruising speed of the car is 30kmph, which is to the speed at which the car runs when the solar panels alone are used. It has a battery pack which can help increase the speed up to 60 kmph. With the battery the car can run in all weather conditions.
The body of the car is made of glass fibre-reinforced plastic and the car dimensions are 4400x1790x1380 mm.
For now the commercial viability of the car is not being explored.