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SSUET students produce solar-electric car

Students of the Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology (SSUET) may have introduced a cost-effective alternative to consumers grappling with rising fuel prices. A group of six engineers have invented an electric car which can be charged through solar energy.

What’s more, in the absence of sunlight it can be charged just like a mobile phone. “You can charge it by attaching its plug to a socket for eight hours, and then it can be driven for at least 25 kilometres,” said Sajjad Jaffri, one of the six team members.

Jaffri says, “Electricity is actually cheaper than the fuel we use. And it is always available.”

Other inventors include Abdul Rehman, Fahad Iqbal, Ammir Iqbal, Mohammed Farooq and Mohammad Awais Qureshi. The engineers have installed a feature in the car, which they call ‘solar tracker’. The device automatically aligns itself with the sun’ position and its panel draws maximum radiation from the sun. “This gives the car its optimum performance.”

Currently, the car is equipped with a 220 volt battery. It can travel longer distances if more batteries are installed in it. But then the cost will go up.

It cost the students Rs170,000 to assemble the car, of which Rs50,000 were donated by the university. It was first exhibited in the Pakistan Automobile Exhibition held at Expo Centre. But the group is looking forward to showcase their talent abroad too. “Whenever we get a chance to take this car abroad, we would love to go.”

For now, they expect the government and the industrial sector to cooperate with them and help them launch this commercial initiative. “This is a very raw form. If we get the needed financial support, we can add more features to the car, and a locally-manufactured car will be very economical for customers.”

For the convenience of the driver, the car has an LCD which indicates the charge left in the solar cell and the battery. The group says that in its current form the vehicle can carry two passengers. It can also be used for the transportation of cargo from one place to the other.

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