With the price of oil steadily increasing, the global supply decreasing, and impact of CO2 emissions becoming more certain, consumers are seeking vehicles with a lower fuel consumption. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that the average car emits about 5.1 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year, or just over 11,000 lbs. With over 250 million passenger cars in the U.S., that amounts to 2.79 trillion pounds of CO2 emitted each year.
SolarCycle's project focuses on the conversion of a gasoline motorcycle to solar electricity. This project aims to design an inexpensive form of transportation with zero emissions.
The team used a 1984 Honda Nighthawk 700s for this project. The first step was to remove the internal combustion engine and the supporting assembly. In its place, a 15hp electric motor, a motor controller, and a bank of batteries were added. In addition to the standard electric conversion, solar panels were also added to the sides of the motorcycle. These panels were attached to a hinge to vary the panel position and provide charging opportunities away from home. This assembly was designed to fit into a standard parking space while collecting solar energy.
Click here to download the final report.