The present invention concerns an electric motor vehicle fitted with at least one rechargeable battery for supplying the vehicle with electricity. The present invention concerns, more specifically, a vehicle of this type fitted with solar photovoltaic cells.
Electric motor vehicles powered by rechargeable batteries have been known since the 19th century. These vehicles have numerous advantages. In particular, they are not noisy, do not emit exhaust gas, and theoretically can reduce our dependence on petrol. However, the batteries of these vehicles have to be charged. This operation is usually carried out using the electric power grid, either at home, or by going to a battery charging station that is open to the public.
Using batteries to power a car or other vehicle has some drawbacks. Indeed, to give this type of electric car sufficient autonomy, the batteries provided must have sufficient capacity to accumulate at least 20 kWh of electric power. Since conventional lead batteries can only accumulate around 40 Wh per kg, the requirement for a car to store this quantity of power involves at least 500 kg of extra weight. Li-ion batteries can accumulate around 5 times more energy per kg. However, at the present time, these batteries are extremely expensive.
Moreover, as already stated, batteries for electrically powered cars are normally charged with electricity from the power grid. We know that a significant fraction of power grid electricity is generated by nuclear power plants, which produce radio-active waste, or by coal or petrol plants that release large quantities of CO2 into the atmosphere. Thus, at the end of the day, electrically powered cars cause just as much pollution as cars that run on petrol.
Electrically powered cars that have at least part of their bodywork covered in photovoltaic cells are also known. The use of photovoltaic cells theoretically overcomes the aforementioned drawbacks of cars powered by a rechargeable battery. Indeed, the additional electricity obtained from the photovoltaic cells increases the car’s autonomy between two battery charging operations, or alternatively, provides the same autonomy with smaller batteries. See at video.
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