How Solar Power is Helping Buses Go Green
With the rise of electric cars, it’s easy to forget that other modes of transportation are also going green. One such example is the use of solar power to power buses. In this blog post, we’ll discuss how one company, Sono, is helping make this a reality.
In an earlier post, the focus was on an entirely solar paneled car called the Sion. The Sion was Sono Motor’s proving ground for using solar panels on automobiles at an affordable price.
Now Sono Motors plans to market a kit that allows existing buses to be retrofitted with solar panels. While a diesel engine still provides propulsion, solar power can power other systems like the HVAC system. The kit was designed for compatibility with the most popular public transit buses in Europe.
The move comes as cities worldwide are working on cutting emissions from public transportation to improve air quality and reduce their carbon footprints. Several cities have already committed to transitioning their bus fleets to electric power, but solar-powered buses offer several advantages over battery-powered ones.
For one, solar power is a renewable resource, whereas batteries must regularly be replaced or recharged. Additionally, solar panels can help offset a portion of a bus’s overall energy needs, extending the range of electric buses and making them more practical for longer routes.
Solar-powered buses also have the potential to generate revenue for transit agencies through the sale of excess electricity back to the grid. And because they can rely on solar power for some of their energy needs, they can avoid peak electricity rates and save money on operating costs. Never was the use of solar more exciting than in the use of refrigerated trailers. The potential to cover 50% of the refrigeration cost using the sun's power is incredibly appealing.
The promise of a 3 to 4-year return on investment is also a positive.
With cities around the world looking for ways to reduce emissions from public transportation, solar-powered buses offer a clean and renewable alternative that has the potential to save transit agencies money in the long run. There is quite a bit of excitement to see how this technology develops in the coming years!