Hanergy’s Solar Cars

Chinese renewable energy company Hanergy has announced the launch of four models of solar-powered cars. These vehicles feature solar panels on the hood and the roof that, when fully extended, can provide a full charge in about six hours. Although Hanergy appears to be focused on the photovoltaic capabilities, they are best thought of as supplementary. With ideal conditions (cloudless, smogless skies) a full charge is only enough to power the cars for 50 miles. However, they do contain lithium-ion batteries to store energy, and can be charged at stations for longer trips.

Hanergy has been looking to develop solar-powered cars for some time now and had been ready to release prototypes in 2015, but an investigation into the possibility of artificially set stock prices put that work on hold.

Stephen Engle of Bloomberg news has provided some criticism of the car’s clean energy capabilities and company leadership. While the count of 50 miles per charge is lower than some would hope, Hanergy has projected that their cells’ solar energy conversion rate will increase from 31.6% to 42% by 2025.