Abstract:During the 1990s, regulations requiring an approach to "zero emissions" from vehicles increased interest in new battery technology. Battery systems that offer higher energy density became the subject of joint research by federal and auto industry scientists.

Solar cars were first built by universities and manufacturers. The sun energy collector areas proved to be too large for consumer cars, however that is changing. Development continues on solar cell design and car power supply requirements such as heater or air-conditioning fans.

A solar vehicle is an electric vehicle powered by solar electricity. This is obtained from solar panels on the surface (generally, the top or window) of the vehicle or using a solar jacket in electric bicycles. Photovoltaic (PV) cells convert the sun's energy directly into electrical energy.

Solar vehicles are not sold as practical day-to-day transportation devices at present, but are primarily demonstration vehicles and engineering exercises, often sponsored by government agencies. However, indirectly solar-charged vehicles are widespread and solar boats are available commercially.

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