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DIY Solar Vehicles

Updated on December 10, 2011

DIY Solar Car-build it yourself

DIY Solar car featured at Maker Faire 2010
DIY Solar car featured at Maker Faire 2010 | Source
You can easily convert a trike into a solar electric vehicle
You can easily convert a trike into a solar electric vehicle | Source

Building a Solar Vehicle is Fun

You often hear of solar power as the energy source of the future. This includes the idea of using solar energy to power a vehicle. Popular news reports and magazine articles depict sleek solar powered racers moving across the desert in Australia or up some deserted stretch oh highway in the U.S.

These multi-million dollar cars are thrilling to watch as teams of dedicated graduate students work to get their car across the finish line first. The promise, the articles seem to say is that someday, some day far in the future you too could be traveling down the highway using the power of the sun as your fuel.

That someday is today if you are willing to invest a little money and time to build your own solar powered electric vehicle. You can build solar powered bikes, trikes and cars from scratch or buy a kit like the Sunnev electric car kit.

DIY Solar Vehicles Save You Money

A popular song states "3 dollars and change at the pump..." and it is true. The cost of owning and operating the family car is going up every day. Insurance, fuel, taxes high monthly car payments. Building and using a neighborhood electric vehicle powered by solar charged batteries can save you a ton of money on fuel and maintenance for your family car.

How Solar Vehicles Save $$$$

Because most trips are short and usually are made by one person, electric cars and trikes are ideal. Your commute to work, for example could end up costing a little sunlight to recharge the battery while you work. When you get ready to go home, your electric vehicle is charged and ready to go. The lower speed of the electric vehicle is not an issue because most urban and suburban streets have posted speed limits of 35 miles per hour or less.

DIY Solar Vehicles You Might Like to Build

Here are some solar electric vehicles that are home-built or can be built at home. Others can be purchased ready made and shipped to your door. They all use solar power for energy and the most expensive costs less than the price of most used cars that run on gasoline.

DIY Solar Vehicles

DIY Solar Car built from a kit
DIY Solar Car built from a kit | Source
The Sunn Solar Electric Kit Car
The Sunn Solar Electric Kit Car | Source

The SunnEv-Solar Electric Car

DIY Solar Car Kits and Plans

The first vehicle I'd like to share with you is a street legal car that is easily built and powered by sunlight. This solar powered car began as a project for high school students. The end result of their work is a working solar powered electric vehicle that is street legal and ideal for urban or suburban commuting.

The kit provided by Sunn Solar contains all the parts you will need to construct the vehicle. You won't need any special tools or a machine shop to build your car. More information on the car kits, assembly manuals and prices are available at the company website:

You can see lots of DIY solar projects at There are solar home heating, home electricity and solar vehicle projects submitted by talented DIYers from all across the globe.

You Can Build this Solar Electric Vehicle

Solar Electric Trikes and Scooters

DIY Solar Trikes You can Build

Here is a really cool solar powered trike a fellow up in Canada built. You can build a similar one on your own by scrounging about for parts or ordering them off the Internet.

You can download a free set of plans for making a solar powered scooter on the Build-it-Solar website. The plans are in a set of 3 pdf file downloads. High quality photographs and easy to follow instructions make the job doable for just about anyone, You don't have to be a mechanic or engineer to do the project and soon you'll be scooting down the highway on sunpower.

Don's Solar Powered Scooter

Don's Solar Scooter
Don's Solar Scooter | Source

Would you drive a solar car?

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