Published on February 3rd, 2015 | by Christopher DeMorro22
Chinese Solar Company To Build Solar Powered Cars
February 3rd, 2015 by Christopher DeMorro
Hanergy Holding Group may not be a household name in America, but it’s one of the world’s largest thin-film solar companies, and it will soon apply its expertise to solar-powered cars. By October, Hanergy CEO Li Hejun told reporters that the thin-film solar energy company will launch as many as five solar-powered cars, reports Forbes.
Working with three domestic and two foreign companies, Hanergy wants to make solar-powered cars a big thing in China, though the sun won’t be its only means of power. Hanergy is also working with Tesla on a solar-powered “supercharging network,” which could be a hint that somebody has finally taken up Elon Musk’s offer to Tesla’s patents for free.
That’s just speculation on my part, though, as Hanergy’s announcement is quite light on details at the moment. Though the five-car lineup indicates a serious level of commitment, the extremely limited range of 80 to 100 kilometers, or about 50 to 60 miles per charge, will also limit the market’s interest in an admittedly awesome idea.
It’s important to take this story with a grain of salt, though, as Hanergy is currently under investigation for “unconventional” accounting practices relating to its unprecedented success in the notoriously difficult thin-film solar industry. That said, Hanergy does have some high-profile deals with the likes of IKEA and other corporate juggernauts, so it’s not just a paper dragon either. Solar-powered cars have long been an environmentalist wet dream, and if a group of Australian college students can build a functional and record-breaking solar car for mass production, I don’t see why Hanergy can’t either.
Breaking into the auto industry isn’t easy, though, as Henrik Fisker found out, though a number of increasingly non-car companies like Foxconn are trying to get into the fast-growing electric vehicle market. Can Hanergy succeed with solar cars where so many others have failed?