BENGALURU: A two-seater solar car that can reach a maximum of 60 kmph, fully designed by college students, was unveiled on Wednesday.
Tata Solar Power backed the initiative by SolarMobil Manipal, a group of 27 students from various engineering streams of Manipal Institute of Technology. The vehicle, weighing 590 kg and built at a cost of roughly `25 lakh, was sponsored by various corporate houses. Tata Solar Power provided them with the vital solar modules required for the project. As of now, there are no plans to explore commercial options.
Speaking at the launch of the SERVe (Solar Electric Road Vehicle), Ashish Khanna, CEO, Tata Solar Power, said, “The innovation resonates with our core values. Hence, we have provided the students a platform.”
The customised solar panels provided by the group weigh just 35 kg and provide up to 960 watts power.
Elaborating on the joy of driving a self-made car, SolarMobil Manipal team manager Jeet Banerjee said, “The cruising speed is 30 kmph and it can touch up to 60 kmph. It has taken us two years to complete it.”
The cruising speed refers to the speed at which the car runs when the solar panels alone are used. It has a battery pack which can help increase the speed up to 60 kmph, he added. “It is the battery which helps the car run in all weather conditions,” Jeet said. A prototype was designed earlier but it was too heavy, he added.
Giridhar Kini, associate director, Manipal University, said, “We are extremely happy to see our students have passion for green energy through the launch of SERVe.” The body of the car is made of glass fibre-reinforced plastic and the car dimensions are 4400x1790x1380 mm.
Apart from Banerjee, the other core members of the design team include Anudeep Reddy, Siva Bhushan Reddy, Anjan Kumar, Varun Gupta, Rohan Sahdev, Madhav Lakhotia, Samay Goenka, Sulekh P, Akshat Singh, Amol Grover and Nikhil Gumidelli. The team also has one woman engineer, Sonam Kumari.