More and more solar-powered cars are popping up by the day. It is hard to say whether they will ever displace EVs, but there are strong arguments in favor of the technology. And if the price is any indication, solar-powered cars definitely have a shot at it. What we’re referring to is the $6,250 MSRP for the Squad Mobility city car. Sure it’s small, but so were EVs when they first started offering an alternative to gasoline power.
Squad Mobility is a Dutch company, but you knew from looking at its city car it had to be from somewhere in Europe. Many of its cities are compact and congested. So these city cars hold a more worthwhile consideration for the folks there. But they could easily be used as a commuter car here in the U.S.
There are both positive and negative aspects to solar-powered cars. They need to be as light as possible, which means they tend to be stripped down and small. But one upside is you don’t need to find a charging station.
What kind of power does the Squad solar-powered car have?
To generate enough power, the more photovoltaics the better. So in many ways, the vehicle design is based on the size of the solar panels. That’s one reason why the Squad city car comes off as a rather square golf cart.
The Squad’s solar panel has an output of 250 W, sending juice to two 6.4 kWh batteries. In turn, they power two 2 kW motors located at each rear wheel. In all, the entire package sells for $6,500, and yes, it will be sold in the U.S. starting in 2024.
What kind of range does the Squad solar-powered car get?
“We are seeing a tremendous interest from the U.S., specifically for markets such as sharing platforms, gated communities, campuses, seaside resorts, tourism, company terrains, hotels and resorts, amusement parks, and inner-city services,” Squad’s Robert Hoevers told Ars Technica.
The elephant in the room is range. For the Squad city car, you’ll get around 13 miles on a sunny day. So what if there is no sun? You can charge the battery packs with a 110 V AC outlet. Fully charged, you’ll get 62 miles of range.
Who designed the Squad EV?
And in sunnier climes like Las Vegas, a 20-mile range is possible. The top speed is 25 mph, which limits its usefulness to small campuses and resorts. The designers of the Squad are two former Lightyear personnel.
Lightyear is another solar-powered car company in the Netherlands. It solar-powered car is a limited edition vehicle with a $262,000 price tag. That’s quite a spread between the two vehicles. But the Lightyear is also much more car-like.
Anyway, expect to be seeing Squad EV city cars at a country club, resort, or campus near you starting in 2024.