Posted April 08, 2019 11:25:08A car that can run on solar energy could soon be on the roads of the United States.
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory, an arm of the U.S. Department of Energy, announced in February that it had secured a $20 million federal grant to develop a small solar-electric vehicle that can be used to power vehicles on demand in urban areas.
The vehicle would need a battery pack to store solar energy, but it would also need to run on hydrogen, an inexpensive and plentiful alternative fuel.
The NREL said the vehicle would have a range of around 500 miles, with a top speed of 60 mph.
If the vehicle was commercially available, it could generate enough power to power an average American home for about one hour.
NREL has also awarded $5 million to a startup called Tesla Energy that hopes to make solar-based power a mainstream option in cars.
It said it has raised $30 million to date, and it hopes to reach $40 million by the end of the year.
Tesla Energy has been working with the National Renewal Program on a solar vehicle called the Tesla Powerwall, which it hopes will offer a cheap, low-emission way to store renewable energy.
In March, Tesla announced it had received $250 million from a group of investors including First Solar, SolarCity, and General Electric, which had been working on the project since 2014.
Tesla said it will be the first carmaker to sell a solar powered car and will begin mass production by 2020.
More:Tesla Powerwall:How to build your own electric car from start to finishPosted April 09, 2019 15:17:52NREL says it is working with two other startups to commercialize the technology for the next generation of cars.
First Solar said it had filed for a patent application in June 2018.
Tesla Energy said it plans to sell the vehicle next year.
The companies say they have worked with other startups and have partnered with a range in the U