Background: As far as urban transportation is significantly responsible for the current environmental issues, significant effort is put on designing and implementing efficient electric vehicles. Solar power seems to be an important option in that direction, thus we have developed a zeroemissions vehicle for urban use, that makes use of photovoltaic panels to charge the battery bank. More precisely, a two-seated four-wheels buggy-type vehicle has been designed, developed and tested on the road,, which has low dimensions and is of a relatively high area available.
Methods: Two 48 VDC /1.5 kW hub motors were positioned at the rear wheels, where four 12V/100Ah batteries connected in series were used to supply the motors. Flexible photovoltaic panels of overall 0.9 Kw peak power have also been used to charge the battery bank. The vehicle was integrated with electric brakes (front) and hydraulic disk brakes (rear). In order to test the vehicles, tree different patterns for typical users have been selected: (a) unstoppable use, (b) regular urban use, and (c) normal employee transportation.
Results: In all cases and independently of the solar radiation intense, the configurations presented good performance, being able to cover normal urban transportation for any pattern of use considered.
Conclusion: This work is actually another evidence that solar cars for urban use are feasible, especially for locations with favorable solar potential.